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Swedish gambling regulator fines two game developers 

Spelinspektionen has issued warnings and penalties against Hacksaw Gaming and Panda Bluemoon.

Sweden.- The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has announced that it has taken action against two developers after finding their games on unlicensed online gambling sites. It has issued warnings and penalty fees to Hacksaw Gaming and Panda Bluemoon.

Hacksaw has been fined SEK2.6m (€226,350) and Panda Bluemoon SEK700,000. Spelinspektionen says games made by each operator were found on two unlicensed gambling sites in January.

Hacksaw said that it uses procedures to prevent access to its games in Sweden, including the use of geo-blocking. It said that it does not intentionally develop games to target Sweden and argued that it cannot be held responsible for games being accessible in places where an operator is not licensed.

However, Spelinspektionen said the fact that the games were accessible in Sweden shows Hacksaw’s measures are inadequate. It also disagreed that only operators should be held responsible, noting that developers are responsible “regardless of whether an agreement has been signed with another party.”

Panda Bluemoon also said that users accessing games through unauthorised sites should receive warning messages. It added that the two operators were offering its games without its permission. However, Spelinspektionen again argued that the developer was responsible for where its games can be accessed and that warning messages are not enough.

It said: “The fact that players from Sweden receive the message ‘the game is not available from your region’ does not change the assessment. It is the licensee who is responsible for ensuring the game software is not provided to players without the necessary licence.”

Ban on gambling with credit

Spelinspektionen has lent its support to the proposed ban on gambling with credit in Sweden. However, it says more clarity is needed on rules and regulations. Drafted by the Ministry of Finance, the new rules would ban all gambling operators from accepting bets financed by credit, including the use of credit cards.

This expands on existing rules that ban operators from extending credit themselves. The proposed legislation also includes requirements for operators to devise action plans to discourage excessive gambling. Spelinspektionen would be charged with setting the requirements for these.