Gambling sector growth slows in Sweden
The growth of the gambling sector in Sweden has slowed to 1.5% on the year in the second-quarter (Q2) of 2018. The data was published by Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish gambling authority.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) grew on the year to SEK11.2bn (£973m), a growth of just 1.5%. Licensed operators in Sweden totaled SEK8.2bn (£712m) GGR for Q2 2018, which is a drop of almost 2% against the same quarter last year.
Major operators, Svenska Spel and ATG, reported GGR of SEK4.3bn (£370m) and SEK2.0bn (£170bn), down 1.3% and up 1.8% respectively. Both operators saw land-based revenues fall 8.8%, while online gambling rose by 22.6% at Svenska Spel and 9.8% at ATG.
However, despite the drop in performance from licensed operators, unlicensed operators in the country continue to thrive.
Licensed operators dominate the market with a 73% share, but operators without a Swedish permit are growing at a much quicker rate. Unlicensed operators took SEK3.0bn (£260m) GGR in Q2, an increase of 12.5% on the year. Experts expect that trend to continue.
New Gaming Act to take effect in 2019
Those figures highlight the need for new regulation of the Swedish market, which in part will aim to reduce the market share of unlicensed operators.
A new Gambling Act was approved in June and is due to be implemented on 1st January 2018. New laws and a licensing system will apply, while operators will have to comply with local advertising standards. Operators have been applying for licenses since August this year.
Lotteriinspektionen’s battle against international operators has been long underway. International operators don’t have to abide by the country’s advertising laws. Back in 2013, the regulator launched a court battle against two Swedish media publications, who advertised links to international operators.
Lotteriinspektionen won, but the case was appealed. After moving to appeal and a five-year battle, the regulator eventually won the court case earlier this month, with the Swedish Court of Appeal ruling that the publication’s advertising was illegal.