Annual Report 2017

The Swedish gaming market

Pending a re-regulated gaming market

The Swedish gaming market is made up of regulated gaming companies and, in Sweden unregulated offshore gaming companies. There is also an illegal market. A new licensed market is expected to take effect as of 1 January 2019.

Growth in the Swedish gaming market amounts to approximately 3% per year and is driven primarily by increased online gaming, mainly online casino. The offshore gaming companies account for most of this increase. Svenska Spel has the largest market share in total, although it has recently diminished slightly in step with the growth of the market. The main reason being that we still lack a permit for online casino which is the largest product in the market.

Competition from offshore gaming companies, which are estimated to have more than half of the online market, is considerable. Svenska Spel’s market share totalled 39.7% (40.5). For 2017, Svenska Spel’s online market share amounted to 21.9% (20.8).

Net gaming revenue for the regulated Swedish gaming companies amounted to approximately SEK 17,100 million (17,100). After adding the offshore gaming companies’ net gaming revenue of SEK 5,500 million (5,100), the total known Swedish gaming market amounted in 2017 to SEK 22,600 million (22,200).

Recommendation for re-regulation of the market

In March of 2017, the investigators submitted their recommendation for the design of a future gaming market to the Government. Gaming regulations, which entail a licensed market, are expected to come into effect on 1 January 2019. According to the recommendation, it will be possible to apply for licenses starting in July of 2018. A licensed market is expected to create equal conditions for all companies in the market. The new gaming regulations will be distinguished by a high level of customer protection, high safety in gaming and clear terms and conditions for operating in the market. The recommendation contains several responsible gaming measure requirements, including registration of all games, that companies are obliged to take action should they suspect that customers have gambling problems, and options for customers to set limits in terms of time and money and block themselves from gambling.

New industry organisation to ensure customer protection

The Ethical Council of the Gaming Industry (SPER) has long focused on issues related to gaming advertising and responsible gaming in its work. In April 2017, SPER was relaunched as the National Gaming Industry Organisation to represent all companies that have permits to conduct gaming in Sweden, both online and offline. The industry organisation was formed due to the re-regulation and the ­purpose is to bolster confidence in the ­industry as a whole.

The National Gaming Industry Organisation will focus its efforts on creating a sound, modern and sustainable gaming market. In addition to issues concerning ethical marketing and responsible gaming, the ambition is to increase awareness about gambling and promote more research in the field. Svenska Spel’s CEO Lennart Käll is Chairman of the Board and Jenny Nilzon is CEO.

Companies active in the Swedish gaming market

Svenska Spel and AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) are the largest regulated companies and both are granted their gaming permits by the Government. Other regulated companies in Sweden receive their gaming permits from the Swedish Gambling Authority.

The offshore gaming companies are primarily online. These companies do not follow the same laws and restrictions as the Swedish companies, such as which games they may offer and how they market themselves.

Companies with permits to operate in Sweden:

  • AB Trav och Galopp (ATG)
  • Cherrybolagen
  • Folkspel
  • Associations that organise bingo halls
  • PostkodLotteriet
  • Svenska Spel
  • Other NGO lotteries

Major offshore companies without permits to operate in Sweden:

  • Bet 365
  • Betsson
  • Expekt
  • Kindred Group (formerly Unibet Group)
  • Leo Vegas
  • Mr Green
  • NordicBet
  • Pokerstars

What is important in tomorrow’s gaming market?

It is essential that we establish long-term sustainable regulations, where customer protection is at the top of the agenda and where all gaming companies compete on equal terms. From our perspective, it is paramount that the future gaming legislation includes a market-wide exclusion feature for players, criminalisation of gaming fraud and that all gaming companies are required to show consideration for their customers.

In addition, we want specifications for responsible gaming measures and marketing that is based on the risk level of the games – there is a difference between online casino and a Trisslott.

Svenska Spel Annual Report 2017
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