The Swedish State Treasury has released a report, in which it highlights channelisation rates in the country last year.
Although betting with regulated sites is still higher than before the country re-regulated in 2019, it has dropped in the past 12 months.
The State Treasury cited various reasons that this might be the case, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does channelisation in Sweden look like right now?
The report revealed that the country’s channelisation rate in 2020 was 80%. This was lower than in 2019, when it was 90%.
In 2018, channelisation had stood at 80%.
Online casino rates had the lowest rates, which fell as low as 75%.
According to the state office, the pandemic has stopped customers from betting with regulated retail vendors. As a result, they have had to gamble online.
The State Treasury also pointed to the design of unregulated websites. Often, in their eyes, these look similar to licenced bookmakers and casinos. As such, consumers can struggle to tell them apart.
“The trend remains negative”
Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General for Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), said the following about the report.
“I hope that the State Office’s report can now put an end to the political proposals that the so-called channelling into the Swedish licensing system would be good.
“It is not, and the trend remains negative. We have felt quite alone in this remark, but hope for more support now that the state’s own expert authority points to the same thing.”
Hoffstedt also pointed to a lack of regulation against unlicensed operators as a reason for channelisation rates dropping. Beyond that, he also noted deposit limits made last year.
Online casino games were subjected to a 5,000 SEK weekly deposit, which was mandatory. This equates to around £428, $540, or €476 in other currencies. This will last until at least June, having been extended. Spelinspektionen, the country’s regulator, warned implementers that it could benefit the black market.
“The increasing leakage to the unlicensed gaming market is due to two things. On the one hand, the Swedish-licensed gaming market has been plagued by so many government restrictions that gaming consumers have grown tired and to an increased extent sought their gaming experiences elsewhere.
“On the other hand, the gaming law has such major shortcomings that in Sweden unlicensed gaming companies have been able to continue to offer their games to Swedish gaming consumers without hindrance. This anomaly must end.”