May 28, 2024 2 min read


Swedish Gambling Authority Fines Hacksaw and Panda Bluemoon

The Swedish Gambling Authority has fined Hacksaw Studios and Panda Bluemoon for offering games to unlicensed operators

The authority that ensures the legality, safety, and reliability of the Swedish gaming and gambling market, the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA), has issued a series of warnings and penalties to Hacksaw Studios and Panda Bluemoon for offering online games to unlicensed operators.

SGA Deems Hacksaw’s Processes “Inadequate” 

Hacksaw has been slapped with a SEK2.6 million ($246.749) fine after the SGA ruled that its content became accessible on illegal platforms.

The premium developer of slots, scratchcards, and instant win games has been under investigation since January

That was the same month when the studio announced the implementation of geoblocking to make sure its software would only be available in Sweden to licensed operators.

Answering the accusations, Hacksaw claimed it could not take full responsibility for the way its operator partners comply with regulations. 

The supplier added it could not guarantee a partner would not make its games accessible to markets where their license does not allow them to operate.

Hacksaw considers receiving a warning or penalty fee as “disproportionate” since unlicensed operators caused the said infringement.

Nonetheless, SGA deemed Hacksaw’s processes as “inadequate” while regarding the violation of the law as a “serious” incident. 

Since Hacksaw was quick to fix the problem after it was notified by the SGA, it escaped having its permit revoked. 

Panda Bluemoon Pointed to a Breach of Contract as the Culprit 

The investigation for Panda Bluemoon was also initiated in January. The studio corrected the error on January 22, explaining the culprit for its games reaching an unlicensed website was a breach of contract. 

The breach was recorded between Panda Bluemoon and its distribution company, Mikai Tech Ltd.

Moreover, Swedish players could read a message saying “the game is not available from your region” when trying to access the respective games. 

Nonetheless, this did not convince the SGA to issue a warning and SEK700,000 ($66,400) fine for the violation.

Similarly to Hacksaw, Panda Bluemoon also cooperated with the investigation and offered all required information on time.

Each of the two fines was connected to the group’s turnover between July 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.

Earlier in the month, the SGA approved a ban on credit cards in gambling which would align Sweden with other modern regulated markets including Norway, Ireland, Australia, and the UK.

In March, the regulator extended the Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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