The first event of the 2014 Swedish Masters, the online poker series run by Sweden’s state-owned monopoly company Svenska Spel, did not go as expected, as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack obliged the room to cancel the event and refund all the players.
Initially scheduled to take place on Sunday, Nov. 2, the tournament ended up without a winner, but with 1,451 players being refunded for their tournament buy-ins.
“We have had a number of DDoS attacks last week, that went on into the evening,” a spokesperson from Svenska Spel told Sweden’s leading daily Aftonbladet. “At first, we paused the tournament, but then we noticed that the attack started again, so we decided to cancel it.”
Planned to offer Svenka Spel’s players a good number of tournaments throughout the whole month of Nov., the 2014 Swedish Masters is now considered to be a series “at risk” per the room’s own admission, and it is possible that similar attacks will influence the regular play of the other events in the schedule.
The DDoS attacks came in a delicate time period for Svenska Spel, as Sweden’s only licensed company has recently suffered for some significant revenue losses.
As reported by PokerNews on Monday, the company recorded 2.1 billion Swedish krona ($284 million) in 2014 third-quarter revenue, representing a 10.9-percent decline from the 2.4 billion Swedish krona ($325 million) in the same period in 2013. At the same time, 2014 year-to-date operating profit has declined nine percent from 3.8 billion Swedish krona ($514 million) in 2013 to 3.5 billion Swedish krona ($473 million) in 2014.
The negative trend, however, did not come as a surprise for the board of the company, as its CEO Lennart Käll explained that the numbers were “according to the company’s plan.”
According to Käll, the decline is due to the fact that “in recent years, the Swedish gambling market has evolved in the wrong direction,” and that Svenska Spel’s has decided to engage in a more socially responsible promotion of gambling and adopted a series of measures that have limited its visibility compared to the past years.