Before opening of market to international online competitors, 2018 gave a tough time to domestic gambling operators of Sweden.
Spelinspektionen regulatory body of Sweden reported figures showing SEK23.4b (US$2.5b) as the worth of country’s overall gambling market in 2018. These figures show a 1.5% increase compared to the results of 2017. Moreover, revenue of online gambling raised to 12.2%, increase of 13.7% in online casino, 11.5% increase in sports betting, that constitute 52% of the total but there was a decline of 8% in land-based operations.
In 2018, the revenue pie was made up dominantly by domestic operations i.e., SEK 16.7b which also showed a decline of 2.3 per year. Svenska Spel reported 2.2% decline in sales and a one-fifth rise in online revenue was not able to equipoise 10% decrease in land-based operations of the firm.
Horse racing betting monopoly, ATG, stated SEK4.1b in sales constituting 1.5% fall per year. Its online activity went up to 5.2% while land-based operations declined to 10.7%.
On 1st January 2019, the liberalized online gambling market of Sweden was launched. While the license holding international online operators informed the sales of SEK 6.7b and 12.4 rise per year these operators made up 29% of market of Sweden in 2018 that was almost five points higher than of 2017.
The lottery of Folkspel rose 3% to SEK673m but all other lottery operations were negative even the sales of Postcode Lottery declined 2.7% to SEK2b.
To ensure a substantial change, the online operators who are licensed recently were given time to promote their activities till March else Minister for Civil Affairs will bring down the regulatory boom. Gambling legislature of Sweden allows only a “moderate” advertising which is somewhat vague and hence the consumers are uninspired by the interpretation of their responsibilities by the licensees. Licensed operators were also invited to a meeting on 4 April with regulators and Sweden’s Consumer Agency to discuss these issues.