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The Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen, has recently issued warnings and sanctioned two gaming software providers for violations, namely Hacksaw Studios AB and Panda Bluemoon Ltd.

Action taken and appeal

Hacksaw Studios AB was handed down a penalty of 2,600,000 SEK (€227,000) for supplying game software to unlicensed operators targeting Sweden. Despite implementing geoblocking measures, Spelinspektionen found the company in breach of regulations. Spelinspektionen's ruling considered the severity and duration of the violation, as well as Hacksaw Studios' responsibilities as a licensed provider. In spite of the company's defence, highlighting geoblocking measures and limited role within the Hacksaw group, the decision was upheld.

Hacksaw Studios defence

In their appeal, Hacksaw Studios claimed to have implemented geoblocking to minimise the possibility of circumventing Swedish gambling laws. They argued that the technical measures implemented were intended to ensure that their game software was only available to licensed operators in Sweden. Additionally, they stated that they had increased monitoring of the Swedish market and had implemented a tool to automatically detect changes on a website, allowing them to take swift action if their software was being made available to unlicensed operators.

Hacksaw Studios emphasised that they had taken several measures to prevent their game software from being provided to operators without the necessary license, including the removal of their games and assets from websites of unlicensed operators. They also highlighted their internal role within the Hacksaw group, limited to the development and manufacturing of game software for internal use within the group.

Action against Panda Bluemoon Ltd

In a separate instance, Panda Bluemoon Ltd received a sanction of 700,000 SEK (€61,000) for providing gaming software to unlicensed operators, undermining the legislative objective of increasing channeling and preventing illegal activities within the industry. The Swedish regulator considered the severity and duration of the violation, as well as the company's corrective actions and cooperation with the investigation, before reaching this decision.

Panda Bluemoon defence

Panda Bluemoon Ltd took several measures to rectify the violations identified by the regulator. The company stated that it had removed the games from the Swedish market and had also taken steps to ensure that its gaming software was no longer provided to operators without the necessary licenses. Specifically, Panda Bluemoon reported that it had made the games unavailable for the Swedish market, and the gaming software was removed from one operator's website, while the other operator's website displayed a message indicating that the game was not available in the region. Additionally, the company emphasised that it had not directly developed or provided gaming software to the prohibited operators and that the availability of its gaming software on unauthorised websites targeting the Swedish market was done without its knowledge or intention.

Despite these measures, the Spelinspektionen found that Panda Bluemoon's processes and procedures were inadequate, and the violation was upheld.

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