Most Swedes cite gambling products in favorite game survey


sweden-lottery-gambling-gamesSweden’s locally licensed gambling operators lost more ground to international online operators in the first half of 2018, despite dramatic improvements in current betting monopoly Svenska Spel‘s online operations.

Figures released Monday by Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulator show the market’s total revenue hitting SEK11.2b (US$1.27b) in the first six months of 2018, a modest 1.5% rise over the same period last year.

Swedish-licensed operators’ share of that pie shrunk 1.9% year-on-year to SEK 8.2b, while ‘non-Swedish actors’ – aka internationally licensed online gambling operators – improved 12.5% to just under SEK3b. Svenska Spel’s overall revenue dipped 1.3% to just under SEK4.3b, despite its online business jumping 22.6% to nearly SEK1.3b.

The AB Trav and Galopp (ATG) horseracing monopoly reported revenue up 1.8% to just over SEK2b, with an online gain of nearly 10% to SEK1.24b offsetting an 8.8% land-based decline to just SEK784m.

ATG’s numbers represented all-time highs for the company but, like Svenska Spel, ATG has been furiously bolstering its offering ahead of the market’s online liberalization come January 1, 2019. ATG is currently negotiating a sports betting deal with Kambi Group and has inked an online live casino deal with Evolution Gaming.

As for Sweden’s national lottery operators, the dominant Postcode Lottery reported sales down 7.8% to SEK1.1b, while the other minor lotteries reported similarly disappointing figures.

The lottery declines stand in contrast to a new survey of Swedes’ favorite game activities. The survey, conducted by Norwegian number crunchers Norstat on behalf of Svenska Spel, asked 3,780 individuals aged 15-75 to name their favorite game product, with no prepared list of options from which to choose.

The Lotto brand lottery product proved the most popular result, with two other lottery options placing second and third. You have to get to fourth place (Trivial Pursuit) to find a non-gambling product, while online games The Sims and Candy Crush placed fifth and sixth. Poker ranked seventh, while sports betting products beat out Monopoly, which closed out the top-10.

Svenska Spel analyst Martin Johansson expressed surprise to find gambling products overrepresented on the list, suggesting it may be due to the ubiquity of gambling advertising or even the media focus surrounding Sweden’s imminent gambling liberalization. Or maybe it was Swedish band The Cardigans’ enduring 1998 hit about some really bad driving habits…