Stiff competition in a growing market
After a temporary decline in the Swedish gaming market in 2014, due to Svenska Spel’s launch of obligatory game registration, the market recovered in 2015.
Svenska Spel still has the largest market share in total, although it has diminished in step with the growth of the gaming market. The competition from the unregulated gaming companies, which are estimated to have more than half of the online market, is considerable. Svenska Spel’s market share totals 42% (43). Svenska Spel’s online market share is estimated at 20% (20) for 2015.
Net gaming revenue for the regulated Swedish gaming companies amounted to approximately SEK 16,700 million (16,500). After adding the unregulated gaming companies’ net gaming revenue of SEK 4,900 million (4,200), the total known Swedish gaming market amounted in 2015 to SEK 21,600 million (20,700).
Growth driven by new game forms
To a great extent, gaming growth depends on the launch of new game forms. Competition is greatest within fast online games, such as online casino games, a game form that is currently not in Svenska Spel’s offering. Online sports betting is also continuing to grow. The increasingly popular games are found among the unregulated, offshore gaming companies that offer their games online. To a greater extent, customers demand games with higher wins and high jackpots.
Competition on equal terms
Swedish gaming regulations have been out of step with the market for a long time. Swedish regulated gaming companies, NGOs and unregulated, offshore gaming companies do not compete on equal terms. In September 2015, the directives were presented for an investigative committee, which is expected to result in a licensed market in 2018 at the earliest. The focus of the investigation is customer protection, marketing, the State’s revenue and Svenska Spel’s role in the future. A licensed market enables Svenska Spel to compete on equal terms.
A functioning ban on advertising is also necessary to realise competition on equal terms. For many years, offshore gaming companies have been able to advertise in Swedish dailies despite the explicit ban on advertising stipulated in the Swedish Lotteries Act. One aim of the ban is to ensure that the companies that have permits to conduct gaming operations can do so without competition from unregulated gaming companies. However, the ban does not work in reality and the Swedish Gambling Authority has tightened the marketing guidelines for regulated companies.
Companies active in the Swedish gaming market:
Companies with permits to operate in Sweden:
- Svenska Spel
- AB Trav och Galopp (ATG)
- Restaurant casinos
- Bingo halls
- Other NGO lotteries
Examples of unregulated gaming companies:
- Mr Green
- Leo Vegas