igamingnext photo
The Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has banned three more companies from operating in Sweden.

The companies in question are Newera Frozen PTE Limited, Aprodi Ltd and Galaktika NV.

In all three cases, Swedish customers were able to access the firms’ websites and create accounts, despite the operators not having a licence to operate in the jurisdiction.

Earlier this week, the SGA also hit state-owned operator Svenska Spel with a SEK100m (€8.7m) fine for failings in its responsible gambling procedures.

Singapore-registered Newera Frozen

Newera Frozen’s brand hellcase.com was found to be facilitating skin gambling, allowing users the opportunity to win cosmetic items for popular video games such as Counter Strike, Dota 2, and Rust.

One of the key findings of the investigation was that Newera Frozen lacked the necessary licence to operate in Sweden. 

Moreover, the website’s information and FAQs were in Swedish, it engaged in Swedish marketing, and utilised payment providers based in the country, all indicative of targeting the Swedish market.

Newera Frozen attempted to argue that it was not offering gambling services but merely selling loot boxes. 

In its decision, the SGA acknowleged that the term “loot boxes” is subject to interpretation under the Gambling Act, which requires prizes to have financial value for regulation. 

The SGA’s decision did not specifically evaluate the loot boxes on hellcase.com but focused on the website’s “upgrade” gameplay. 

This feature allowed players to wager a skin and either win or lose another skin. There was also an option to use money from the game account to increase the chances of winning.

The SGA determined that since skins can be traded on other platforms and the game’s design and marketing imply their potential monetary value, the skins sold on the website should be regarded as having a monetary worth. 

Consequently they fall within the scope of gambling regulation, it concluded.

In response to the regulatory scrutiny, Newera took steps to mitigate its association with the Swedish market. 

It removed Swedish language content, ceased offering Trustly payment services, and planned to revise influencer agreements to prevent Swedish marketing. 

The company also distanced itself from affiliates who independently promoted the website in Swedish.

Cyrpus-based Aprodi

The SGA also initiated an investigation into key-drop.com. The website allows users to bet Counter Strike skins for the chance to win more valuable ones.

Ownership of key-drop.com was traced back to Aprodi Ltd, with an address located in Cyprus. 

The investigation conducted by the SGA uncovered several concerning aspects of key-drop.com’s operations. 

According to the SGA the site provided information, instructions, and marketing materials in Swedish. 

Moreover, no evidence emerged indicating that Aprodi held any gaming licences in any jurisdiction. 

Despite being given the opportunity to provide a statement, Aprodi Ltd remained silent on the matter and did not address the SGA allegations.

Curaçao-licensed Galaktika

Lastly, the SGA investigated drop.casino, run by Curaçao-licensed Galaktika NV, for unregulated gambling and targeting Swedish players. 

The SGA also expanded its investigation to other Galaktika-operated sites, uncovering Swedish-language marketing on most platforms.

In its response, Galaktika denied intentionally targetting Swedish players. 

According to the SGA, Galaktika replied it had outsourced its marketing to organisations that target the European market. 

The company also stated that it had no connection to the affiliates that target Sweden and does not consider itself responsible for the Swedish-language marketing. 

However, the SGA was of a different opinion and held the company responsible for compliance.

Similar posts