Legislative Reform Sweetens Sweden’s iGaming Market

Published September 23, 2017 by Lee R

Legislative Reform Sweetens Sweden’s iGaming Market

Svenska Spel remains the lead operator, but others are effectively being welcomed aboard.

The Swedish market continues to expand through significant market reforms.

New Market Figures

According to Swedish regulator Lotteriinspektionen, gambling revenue in Sweden was up year-on-year for 2017 H1, with the total turnover take of SEK11bn (€1.16bn/$1.38bn) representing a 3% increase.

Spel Out Front

Predictably, the country’s state-owned operator and former monopoly Svenska Spel continued to lead the overall gambling market in Sweden, nonetheless showing a 2% year-on-year decline in turnover to SEK4.3bn, even as online revenue rose 12% to SEK1bn.

Foreign Entries

The market showed the most signs of opening up through online gaming revenue, where new licensed operators from without secured a combined SEK2.65bn in online gaming revenue, representing the lion’s share of Sweden’s online gaming sector for H1 2017, for a 17% increase year-on-year. 

Expansion in Foreign Accounts

More signs of the Swedish market opening arise from new Mediavision survey figures indicating that 61% of all new online gambling accounts in the past year have been registered to offshore-licensed firms.

Leading Entrants

As far as individual foreign operators, the leader in Sweden is Bet35 with 9% of all new accounts, followed by Kindred-owned Unibet in second place at 8% share and LeoVegas just back at 7%.

Adaptive Legislation

In keeping with the transformation from a monopoly into an open gaming market, Sweden’s government is currently putting together a new gambling law that would permit online casino operators from around the world to apply licensure in the Swedish market, legislation expected to be adapted by 2019.    

Swedish Advantages

The expansion of the Swedish market is being sustained according to the report by a high level of tech-savvy combined with an increase in advertisement for services and games in Sweden from foreign operators, with MediaVision figures showing 10% of all advertisements on Swedish television channels sourcing from foreign gambling providers at this point, a proportion which has risen 7% since 2013.

Foreign Ad Revenue

Clearly, foreign operators are eager to get into the Swedish market, and their advertising dollars are preceding them. This is likely another reason that the shift to an open market can be easier to accept for Sweden, in a country with high levels of fluidity but conditioned to a monarchy approach to economics that had established a status quo of monopolized gaming.

Outlook in Sweden

Monopolized gaming is ultimately just one way to bring in revenues: welcoming the overwhelming amount of foreign operators eager to apply for national licence, and effective taxing of their subsequent ongoing high volume operations, can increase and diversified revenues for the Swedish government that the original monopoly imposed a significant cap on.     

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