Sweden goes after skin gambling sites

Operators without a SGA license continue to target the Swedish iGaming and betting market

The Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) has blocked access to three websites, adding them to a growing list of banned operators, that have been targeting the country without a license. The websites in question include Aprodi Ltd, Galaktika NV, and Newera Frozen PTE Limited, all of which have now been restricted.

This comes only a few days after the SGA also issued a €8.7 million fine to Svenska Spel which was lambasted by the regulator over a failure to meet responsible gambling practices. The three websites targeted in the recent move have been offering various activities involving skin gambling.

Skin gambling is an activity where players will bet digital goods for popular games, such as Counter-Strike or Dota, and use them as stakes to win more. Although skins do not have value outside of the game, there have been a number of secondary marketplaces that make it possible to exchange skins for real money, despite developers’ better efforts to prevent this from happening.

Newera Frozen has been offering and facilitating skin gambling on Counter-Strike 2, Rust, and Dota 2, the SGA said in an official statement. SGA took issue with the fact that players could wager skins to win back or lose skins and added that the existence of secondary markets where such skins could be sold qualified Newera Frozen’s offer as a form of gambling.

Aprodi Ltd was the next company targeted over similar breaches. The company was found guilty by the SGA of having facilitated Counter-Strike skin gambling. More worryingly, the site specifically provided information on how to use its platform in Swedish, meaning intent on the operator’s part in introducing players to gambling products.

Not least, there was Galaktika NV which was targeting Swedish gamblers without the necessary license to do so. Galaktika NV responded to the regulator and said that its marketing was handled by third parties, which meant that it sometimes had no control over what markets its advertisement appeared in.

The SGA dismissed this defence and said that the responsibility lies solely with the operator to ensure that its vendors and partners are aware of regulatory restrictions in regulated markets. The trio of banned websites are the most recent enforcement actions that the regulator has taken this week.

In another instance, the SGA also fined a supplier of gaming products, Yggdrasil. The fine was issued in relation to a breach of license terms whereby Yggdrasil must ensure that no offshore websites that target the Swedish market also have access to Yggdrasil games, which was not the case, as at least one website was found to offer illegal gambling in Sweden and feature Yggdrasil games.

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Written by Barney


Barney is co-founder of CryptoGamblingNews.com. When not at work he can usually be found behind a Nikon. He's won numerous international competitions for his photography and volunteers as a content creator for aid organisations in Africa.

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