Sweden’s state-owned online gambling operator enjoyed double-digit growth in the first half of 2017 but still got outperformed by internationally licensed online rivals.
Figures released this week by the Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body show overall gaming market turnover of slightly more than SEK 11b (US $1.38b) in the six months ending June 30, a 3% improvement over the same period last year.
The state-owned Svenska Spel monopoly reported its total turnover falling 2% to SEK 4.3b, as online gambling gains (SEK 1b, +12%) weren’t enough to offset land-based declines (SEK 3.3b, -5%).
By contrast, “non-Swedish actors” beaming their digital signals into the country reportedly saw their Swedish market turnover jump 17% to SEK 2.65b. The sum generated by these international sites represents nearly one-quarter of the overall Swedish market, up one point from Q1’s share.
A recent Swedish market survey by the Mediavision consultancy found that 61% of all new online gambling accounts set up over the past year were with internationally licensed operators. UK operator Bet365 claimed a 9% share of new online accounts, with the Kindred Group’s Unibet brand in second place with 8% and mobile casino operator Leovegas in third with 7%.
Sweden is reportedly pressing forward with plans to overhaul its online gambling market by ending Svenska Spel’s online monopoly and allowing international operators to apply for local licenses. However, the shift isn’t likely to occur until after national elections next September.
As for the rest of Sweden’s domestic operators, the ATG horseracing monopoly reported total turnover up 3% to just under SEK 2b. ATG’s shift towards online reliance continued its torrid pace, as online turnover was up 14% to SEK 1.13b while land-based wagering dropped 9% to SEK 859.
The state’s lottery operators reported mixed results, with the Postcode Lottery’s sales slipping 1% to SEK 1.2b, People Games down 5% to SEK 273m, IOGT-NTO off 2% to SEK 149m while the SAP/SSU operations bucked the trend by rising 2% to SEK 109m.