Swedish Gambling Authority bans sixth unlicensed operator in 2024

Regulator issues immediate punishment to WiseAvant OÜ after an investigation found Estonian firm was offering skin gambling in the market
The post Swedish Gambling Authority bans sixth unlicensed operator in 2024 first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has banned WiseAvant OÜ for providing skin gambling in Sweden without a licence.

Following an investigation, the regulator established that via website farmskins.com, skins from several video games could be won by players through lotteries.

The website offered different game modes where the skins could be won, as well as marketing for the platform through streaming site Twitch.

The SGA also discovered the company was marketed via an affiliate in Swedish.

The investigation was not able to determine whether Swedish players were prevented from registering or creating an account on the website.

However, the regulator did find the farmskins.com website was owned and operated by WiseAvant OÜ with an address in Estonia.

Commenting on the findings of the investigation, the operator believed it had not breached any rules as players are not gambling for money and are instead winnings goods in the form of skins.

The Estonian firm added that skins cannot be exchanged for real money and that the skins can only be used in the games that they belong to. Therefore, WiseAvant OÜ stated it did not need a Swedish gambling licence to operate in the market.

Despite this, the SGA’s assessment “made clear” that gambling on monetary value also refers to winnings in the form of goods.

The SGA said: “Because it is possible to buy and sell ‘skins’ in other places, combined with the fact that the game’s design and marketing allude to the potential sales value that a ‘skin’ has, the [SGA] believes that the ‘skins’ sold on the website should be considered to have a value in money.” 

The regulator highlighted the skins on the website are given value in US dollars and that on other websites, skins can be bought and sold for money.

Alongside that, through marketing used by the company and in collaboration with Twitch streamers, its financial gain through the games are highlighted.

The SGA added: “The gambling inspectorate makes the assessment that WiseAvant OÜ provides games in Sweden because the company markets itself to Swedish consumers through its affiliates. 

“The marketing takes place via user-generated content on Twitch, via affiliate websites and as sponsored search results in search engines. 

“Furthermore, the company has not expressed any intention to actively prevent marketing that occurs with affiliates. The [SGA] believes that it is the company’s responsibility to proactively ensure that all marketing for their websites takes place in a legal manner.”

So far in 2024, the SGA has issued six banning orders to non-compliant firms – an increase on four suspensions last year.

The post Swedish Gambling Authority bans sixth unlicensed operator in 2024 first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

​EGR Intel

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