SBC News Spelinspektionen toughens sweep against skin websites

Spelinspektionen toughens sweep against skin websites

Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s Gambling Inspectorate, has banned four businesses for targeting Swedish consumers with illegal ‘skin’ gambling platforms.

The inspectorate published a notice naming the businesses of Gamevio Ltd, Bigskin Trading Limited, Santeda International BV, and the website as infringing on Swedish gambling laws by providing ‘games without a necessary license’.

The Inspectorate detailed that both Gamevio Ltd and Bigskin Trading had promoted unlicensed games in the form of skins to Swedish consumers.

Skin gambling websites allow customers to purchase virtual goods and currencies, which can be used to gamble on their platforms.

Popular with younger gaming audiences, skin websites have caused problems for regulatory authorities in Europe, determining whether gameplay and interactions can be classified as gambling.

Spelinspektionen determines that “Skins are collectibles in many popular computer games that can often be redeemed for money outside of the computer game. Websites that offer skin games cannot get a Swedish gaming license and can often lack age control.”

As such, 2024 has seen Spelinspektionen undertake a hardened approach against skin gaming platforms as previous regulatory sweeps banned six skin operators from the Swedish market.

Inspectorate is using its new powers…

In July 2023, the Riksdag granted the Inspectorate new powers and increased resources to directly intervene and block unlicensed gambling activities.

New powers allow Spelinspektionen to authorize direct payment blocks from Swedish-licensed financial services to businesses deemed to be unlicensed, without the need for a court order.

The Inspectorate was provided with greater funding to develop undercover surveillance teams engaging with unlicensed websites.

Further protections require all financial organizations’ licensed by Finansinspektionen, Sweden’s Financial Authority, to record customer transactions with gambling operators, which can be accessed by Spelinspektionen to assist with investigations, penalties, and regulatory settlements.

Regulatory developments see Finansinspektionen and Spelinspektionen support new amendments to the Gaming Act of 2018, which will impose a comprehensive ban on all credit-related transactions for Swedish gambling.

Supported by all relevant authorities, an outright ban on all forms of credit applied to gambling transactions requires its Parliamentary vote to be sealed as a federal law from 1 April 2025.

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