Does H1 2016 Performance Finally Spel the End for the Swedish Monopoly?

Lee R. - September 6, 2016

Growth lags behind international operators, which will likely spur the opening of the Swedish market.

With an open market on the horizon, the restricted Swedish gambling market is growing at one third the pace of international operators for H1 2016.

The Totals

In a national report, Swedish gaming agency Lotteriinspektionen revealed that the online Swedish gambling market improved nonetheless, moving up 5% to a total of nearly SEK 10.8b (US $1.26b) for the first six months of the year.

The Pace

With H1 sales of SEK 8.2b, Sweden’s state-licensed operators grew at a pace of 4% year-on-year.  Meanwhile, international online operators grew 12% to SEK 2.3b, for a remarkable turnaround from the end of Q1, when Swedish operator growth was outpacing international operators 6% to 5%.

Svenska H1 Figures

Government-owned operator Svenska Spel reported total H1 sales of just under SEK 4.4b for 1% growth, a modest pace anchored by a 2% drop in land-based sales to SEK 3.47b, further contrasting with the online jump of 13% to SEK 922m. At this point, Svenska Spel’s overall share of the Swedish market stands at 41%, still almost double the total of 21% for international operators.

Pattern of Decline

A similar pattern of land-based declines versus online growth was mirrored in the H1 Performance of the ATG horseracing monopoly, which saw online sales rise 11% to SEK 990m against a 3% fall in land-based bets to SEK 941m. This pattern was reflected by the People Games and IOGT-NTO lottery sectors as well.

Land-based Lottery’s Stand

Interestingly, land-based lottery did perform well with The Postcode Lottery, gaining 12% online to SEK 1.2b while online sales fell 41% to just SEK 19m.

Open Horizon

Plans are underway to ultimately privatize Svenska Spel, with government officials promising a final draft of relevant legislation by the end of 2017.


These plans are complete with an already announced payment- and IP-blocking system planned against unlicensed operators, so the infrastructure for opening the Swedish market is in place. Now all that is left is the vote.



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