Sweden’s Gambling Market Balancing Between Foreign and Domestic Operators
Swedish gaming authority, Lotteriinspektionen, released the official numbers for the first quarter of this year, showing a year-on-year increase of mere 0.2%.
Before further discussing the quarter data, it has to be noted the final result perfectly describes the current situation on Swedish market, where domestic operators recorded losses, while internationally licensed ones managed to achieve positive results.
The total market turnover from January 1 to March 31 2017 was $617.2 million, some $1.2 million more than last year.
Share of the Cake
Internationally licensed operators have more reason to be satisfied with the results achieved so far. Their market share increased by 13% to around $140 million, while at the same time, those operators holding Swedish license saw their revenue fall by 3% to $480 million.
One of the biggest losers in year-on-year terms was state-owned operator Svenska Spel,which earned $250 million, 5% less than in the same period of last year. The main cause for such a dismal result was a significant drop of 9% in land-based operations. On the other hand, online operations managed to improve by 6%, which gives some reason to be optimistic.
ATG experienced a similar trend. In the first month of the year, the horse race betting monopoly reported a revenue of $109.6 million. The land-based operations fell by 10% ($47.9 million), while online business was 10% up ($61.6 million)
When it comes to the lottery, there is no clear trend on the market, and the results vary from operator to operator. Postcode Lottery recorded a 3% year-on-year increase ($71.6 million), with a staggering 22% rise in its online sales. On the other hand, the People Games lottery sales dropped by 10%.
Gambling Market Reform
Swedish gambling market is currently being reformed in order to allow international online operators to apply for domestic licenses. It’s a long list of those operators that have already expressed their intention to do so, and it seems they are not bothered by a not so favourable 18% tax on gross gaming revenue.
This reform will end online monopoly of Svenska Spel, but brick and mortar casinos will still be a no entry zone for foreign operators. According to available information, the government wants to privatize Svenska Spel, but at this moment little is known about these plans.