Regulated Swedish Market Slipped in Its First Year of Liberalisation

Published December 16, 2019 by Lee R

Regulated Swedish Market Slipped in Its First Year of Liberalisation

A diverse new year-end survey reveals the challenges in implementing an effective liberalised model in the former monopoly of Sweden.

In the long anticipated first year of regulation, the Sweden market has lagged.

Six Points Down

In the most anticipated market perhaps of any in Europe, the latest survey reveals that the percentage of the country’s adult population has dropped six percentage points in the past year.

The Study

Carrying out the study on behalf of Sweden regulatory body Spelinspektionen, polling specialist Novus revealed that 60% of adults gambled in the past 12 months, a 6% decline from 2018's 66%, and a 16% fall since the first survey in 2013, when Sweden was still a monopoly-dominated market.

The Results

Of 1,600 Swedish web respondents to October interviews: 45% said they had gambled in the past month, with 31% doing in the past week. Another 21% said they had gambled more than a year ago; while 17% said they never gambled and 2% were unsure whether they had ever done so.

Lottery Leads

Lottery remains by far the most popular form of gambling, with 75% of gamblers saying they had played in the past year. Numerical and draw-based games came in second played by 50%; followed by horse race betting at 38%.

Bringing Up the Rear

Sports betting lagged far behind, at 21% play rate for those surveyed; casino at 5%, and only poker farther down the playlist.

Venue Breakdown

In terms of medium, retail still dominates the Swedish market, as 48% of players frequented betting shops to play. This was followed by mobile device use (29%), and pc (19%).

Mobile and PC players indicated that 63% still gamble with former monopoly holder Svenska Spel, followed by AB Trav och Galopp's distant second at 17%.

Operator Results

Of the many licenced operators, bet365 led the way with a scant 4% of gamblers, followed by Unibet at 3%. Meanwhile, 78% of players in the newly licensed Swedish market only gamble on licensed sites, while 4% continue to play on unlicenced sites, and another 18% unsure whether they were playing with licenced operators.


The key to stave off the user slippage has to be the voice of the users. With 40% of players saying they prioritized security, continued emphasis on effective self-exclusion is likely the best way to stem the tide.

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