Online Play Dominates Sweden Revenues in 2018; Advertising Concerns Dominate 2019Published February 4, 2019 by Lee R
Now that Sweden has gone online, how can online growth be harnessed without advertising violations?
Over half of Sweden's gaming take in 2018 was from online play.
The total gaming revenue for the Swedish market was SEK23.4bn (€2.2bn) in 2018, good for a 1.5 percent year-on-year improvement at the dawn of the newly regulated market that came into effect January 1, 2019, allowing private operators to offer games to Swedish customers online for the first time.
Sweden regulatory body Spelinspektionen reports online revenue up 12.2% last year, online casinos up 13.7%, and sports betting up 11.5% to provide 52% of overall revenues, with land-based operations falling just under 8%.
Overall, domestic operators brought in SEK16.7b for a 2.3% decline year-on-year, with former monopoly and state-owned Svenska Spel reported a 2.2% drop in sales to SEK8.8b, with the one-fifth rise in online revenue contrasting with the overall 10% drop Svenska's land-based operations.
Same for Horseracing
Similar outcomes were visible with Sweden's ATG horseracing monopoly, where betting activity brought in overall sales of SEK4.1b, for a 1.5% year-on-year decline. Land-based operations were down 10.7%, with online activity up 5.2%.
International Operator Totals
Internationally licensed online operators serving the Swedish market in 2018 reported sales of SEK6.7b for a year-on-year rise of 12.4%, with international sites accounting for 29% of Sweden’s overall market in 2018, a five point jump from 2017.
Lottery sales in Sweden dropped for the most part, with Postcode Lottery’s sales falling 2.7% to SEK2b. The only growth in lottery sales was the Folkspel lottery's 3% rise to SEK673m.
Adapting the Re-regulated Market
As for development of the new market, Sweden's newly licensed online operators have already been warned about adhering to advertising guidelines, with Minister of Civil Affairs Ardalan Shkarabi giving new licencees until the end of March to demonstrate a “noticeable change” in promotional activities or get hit with regulatory discipline.
This directive comes as a result of dissatisfaction with adherence to a vague requirement for “moderate” advertising by licensees, which Spelinspektionen hopes to clarify at an April 2 meeting between all Swedish-licensed operators and Sweden’s Consumer Agency.
No one said regulation was easy. The onus appears on Sweden to come up with more specific directives to guide operator advertising to avoid unsightly discipline in this embryonic stage.