Sweden’s domestic gambling flat, int’l sites up double-digits in 2017


sweden-gambling-market-2017Sweden’s regulated domestic gambling market revenue was flat last year, while international online gambling sites serving the market without permission enjoyed double-digit growth.

The annual report released Wednesday by Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulator show the domestic regulated market generated total revenue of SEK 17.2b (US$2b) in 2017, virtually unchanged from 2016’s total. Meanwhile, internationally licensed online gambling sites saw their revenue rise 14.6% to over SEK5.5b.

None of the locally licensed operators reported any significant year-on-year revenue deviations, with the Svenska Spel betting monopoly up less than 1% to SEK 7.85b, the ATG horserace betting monopoly rising 3% to SEK4.1b and the Casino Cosmopol operation falling nearly 4% to SEK 1.1b. Even the local lottery operators reported a mild decline to SEK3.9b.

Sweden’s overall online gambling market revenue increased 11.4% to SEK10.3b last year, of which SEK4.8b (+14.9%) was generated by locally licensed operators. The international gambling sites’ share of Sweden’s online market hit 53.3% in 2017, while their share of the overall Swedish gambling market hit 24.3%, up from just 16.5% in 2012.

The average Swedish adult spent about 2.2% of their disposable income (SEK6,005, roughly $700) on gambling last year, slightly less than the 2.4% (SEK6,062) they spent on gambling in 2016. Only the international sites reported a per capita spending rise last year.

Sweden is in the process of liberalizing its online gambling market, with interested operators having been invited to submit license applications later this summer ahead of the rollout of the new regime in the new year.

Meanwhile, a local media outlet recently conducted an investigation into the marketing practices of Swedish-facing online gambling sites. The Resumé outlet signed up accounts with 13 internationally licensed online casinos along with Svenska Spel (as a control group), made deposits and gambled regularly in order to gauge the responses of the sites.

Over the next 25 days, Resumé reported receiving 144 communications via email, texts and other instant messaging services, along with ‘pushnotes’ in browser applications. The first day saw 22 messages issued by the 13 sites.

The Multilotto lottery and casino site was the chattiest, generating 32 messages, nearly twice the volume of its closest competitor, White Hat Gaming’s Spinrider brand. The next most avid communicators were (in order) Cherry AB’s Comeon! brand, Malta-licensed Casino Calzone, and Betit Operations’ High Roller brand.

After closing all 13 online casino accounts at the end of the 25-day experiment, Resumé reported that it continued to receive communications from some of the sites, with Multilotto again outpacing all competitors.