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Sweden’s Unregulated Gambling Market Spurs Growth, Latest Figures Show

Grey market sees double-digit growth ahead of new gambling law’s implementation

Sweden’s gambling market was worth SEK16.8 billion (approximately $1.9 billion) during the first three quarters of the year, the country’s gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen, revealed on Thursday.

And while revenue from locally licensed operators accounted for the greater portion of the reported figure, internationally licensed gambling companies servicing Swedish players were the main driver of growth over the first nine months of 2018.

The reported revenue figure represented an increase of 1.2% from the corresponding period in 2017. Swedish gambling companies generated revenue of SEK12.2 billion (approx. $1.3 billion) over the reviewed period, down 2.4% year-on-year. Revenue from international operations totaled SEK4.5 billion (approx. $$96.4 million), reflecting an increase of 12.4% from the prior year.

According to Lotteriinspektionen’s latest report, local operators accounted for 73% of the market, while non-Swedish ones held a 27% market share during the first nine months of the year.

The online gambling sector was the one to record the biggest growth during the reviewed period. While revenue from land-based gambling services decreased 8.2% in the first three quarters of the year, online gambling figures rose 12.9%. Online betting revenue was up 13.6% year-on-year, while the online casino sector grew 11.9%. Sweden-licensed gambling operators are banned from providing online casino games under the country’s current gambling law, which means that particular sector is entirely represented by international companies.

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A recently released report by Swedish consultancy firm Mediavision revealed that the majority of online gambling registrations made over the past year were with internationally licensed companies. Accounts opened with such companies represented a 60% of all new registrations, the firm has found.

It was also reported that the number of Swedes who have an online gambling account has increased 12% from last year. Around 60% of people aged between 18-74 seem to be gambling online with both locally licensed and foreign providers of gaming and betting services.

According to Mediavision’s Mazyar Sajjadi, a possible explanation on why Swedish gamblers have preferred international companies to local ones over the past year was the fact that foreign gambling websites feature special offers and deposit bonuses to lure more customers. Licensed gambling companies are prohibited from offering any such incentives.

Sweden is set to scrap the current gambling monopoly system on January 1, 2019, when its new gambling law is to take force. Under the new rules, international companies will be able to obtain licenses from the local gambling regulator and to operate in a regulated environment.

Among many other things, the new law will also close a loophole that has made it possible for unlicensed companies to advertise their services across Swedish media, even though their presence in the country has not been exactly legal. Only locally licensed companies will be able to advertise their products in Sweden once the new regulations come into effect.

According to a report by research firm Kantar Sifo from earlier this year, several foreign gambling companies were among Sweden’s spendiest advertisers in 2017. Kindred Group and LeoVegas, both hailing namely from Sweden but operating from Malta, ranked among the top 20 advertisers of 2017 by ad spending. The former spent a total of SEK443.1 million on marketing its products in Sweden, while the latter’s marketing costs totaled SEK314 million.

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The post Sweden’s Unregulated Gambling Market Spurs Growth, Latest Figures Show appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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