HomeGambling IndustrySwedish Gaming Authority goes after "illegal" skin gambling site

Swedish Gaming Authority goes after "illegal" skin gambling site

3 min. read

Sweden’s gambling regulator, the Swedish Gaming Authority, has issued a ban against WiseAvant OÜ, an Estonia-based operator, which has been cited by the regulator as providing illegal skin gambling locally.

Skins are usually snazzy outfits or powerful weapons in video games that can fetch a significant price on secondary markets and have become a staple trade currency when placing bets on certain gaming competitions. Many of these in-game skins can easily sell for several thousand US dollars from developers’ marketplaces.

These digital goods were also at the center of a huge skin gambling lawsuit involving Valve, the developer of Steam, a digital video game marketplace, which was targeted by irate parents of children who had used skins to gamble.

Now, the Swedish Gaming Authority has found WiseAvant OÜ to be in violation of local laws through the latter’s farmskins dot com, a website developed to support a skin trading and betting economy around it. The regulator argued that the lottery offers that enabled skin betting were in fact targeting the Swedish gaming market.

WiseAvant OÜ, however, did not agree with the accusations levelled against its name and operations. The operator argued that there was no actual gambling involved and argued that the currency used to bet and win was skins, which do not have an actual monetary value when won.

The operator may have a point as selling skins on secondary markets has become increasingly hard, or next to impossible, especially after the Valve lawsuit. WiseAvant OÜ reminded the regulator that any skins won could not be exchanged for real money on its website.

The company further noted that because its product did not constitute a form of gambling, it did not actually need to seek an official license from the regulator. However, the Swedish Gaming Authority has argued back that skins do hold a financial value, because, even if they are not exchanged directly on farmskins dot com, the website still lists them with their actual value in US dollars on the website.

Furthermore, the outcome of the lottery hosted by WiseAvant OÜ specifically used the words "win" and "loss" to describe the outcome of events, which further gave the watchdog a reason to suspect and decide in favor of its original decisions – that the website was indeed offering a form of unlicensed gambling.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

23 May 2024
3 min. read
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