Swedish gambling regulator bans three operators

Spelinspektionen has prohibited an online casino and two skin lottery operators.
Spelinspektionen has prohibited an online casino and two skin lottery operators.

Spelinspektionen says the operators were targetting Swedish players without a licence.

Sweden.- The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has banned three operators that it says were targeting players without a local licence. the operators in question are Newera Frozen PTE Limited, Aprodi Limited and Galaktika NV.

The first two were found to be offering illegal skin lotteries to Swedish players. These allow players to stake collectable skins from video games through several game formats, including options to bet a skin for a chance to win a more valuable skin. Newera Frozen’s Hellcase.com and Aprodi’s Key-drop.com were found to be marketed through user-generated material on video platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Spelinspektionen said content was specifically targeted at Swedish players since Hellcase.com and Key-drop.com had information in Swedish. In the case of Hellcase.com, FAQs were in Swedish, and the site used a Swedish payment company. Key-drop.com had terms and conditions and affiliate marketing in Swedish.

Newera Frozen PTE argued that it sells loot boxes, which is said to “cannot be considered gambling”. It has removed Swedish text from its site and removed Trustly as a payment option. However, Spelinspektionen said Sweden’s Gambling Act applies to all games in which the prize has economic value.

It said: “The Swedish Gaming Authority believes that the skins sold on the website should be considered to have a value in money. The Gambling Act is therefore applicable to the game in question.”

In the case of Galaktika NV, the Curaçao-registered operator was found to be targeting Swedish players through Drip.casino. Spelinspektionen said the site used affiliate marketing in Swedish. Galaktika NV claimed that it did not intentionally target Swedish customers and that it outsources marketing to third parties. The regulator argued that the company should still be considered to target the Swedish market by having affiliates who market their games to Swedish consumers via affiliate websites.

In the past week, Spelinspektionen named Claes Norgren as its new chairman. Norgren was previously head of the Swedish government’s Financial Supervisory Authority and deputy governor of Sweden’s Central Bank, Riksbank. It also handed Svenska Spel Sport & Casino a penalty fee of SEK100m (€8.7m) for a series of player duty of care failings dating back to the period between October and December 2021. 

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