Swedish casino restrictions having an impact on online revenue

Online gambling operators licensed in Sweden have suffered a drop in sales of up to 30% in recent months. 

According to News55, a media outlet based in the Scandinavian country, these declines occurred between June and August. 

Regulated online casinos in Sweden have been subjected to player deposit limits and other restrictions, imposed on 2nd July. 

Which operators were hit the hardest? 

Comeon Group endured a revenue drop of 29.6%, with its sales dropping from 118 million Swedish Krona (SEK) in June to SEK83 million in August. It’s worth noting, though, that two of its brands leaving the Swedish market in May contributed to this. 

Elsewhere, revenue for Kindred Group – which operates Unibet and Maria Casino – went down from SEK101 million in June to SEK72 million in August. This was a drop of 28.7%. LeoVegas was another high-profile casino to witness a fall in online casino revenue, with sales falling by 29.6% to SEK57 million. 

Hero Gaming also saw its revenue drop by more than a quarter, falling by 27.8% to SEK13 million.

Online casino restrictions in Sweden 

Swedish online casinos are subjected to a number of restrictions which will remain in place until the end of 2020. These were brought in to prevent problem gambling issues during COVID-19, though there is no data to back up a drastic rise in gambling problems. 

Players will be limited to a weekly deposit limit of SEK5,000 for online casino gaming, with bonuses capped at SEK100. 

These regulations do not apply to horse racing and sports betting operators in the country. 

In April, industry stakeholders spoke about the strict temporary regulations for online casino operators. A letter signed by Chief Executives from William Hill, Betsson and others said the following. 

“We operate in a digital world and have direct access to all relevant data needed to evaluate what measures can help strengthen the security of our players while offering attractive products.

“The sad thing is that the government, with Ardalan Shekarabi at the forefront, does not want to talk to stakeholders like us, about how we can work together and, with the support of the insight we possess, develop a well-functioning Swedish gaming market.”

Regulated online gambling in Sweden 

Various studies have suggested that channelisation rates in Sweden are dropping. Earlier this year, Copenhagen Economics published a report which said that rates for online casino gaming had dropped to between 72% and 78% in January 2020. 

Upon the publication of this report, Copenhagen Economics also said that “the incentives for operating and starting unlicensed casinos are strong given the restrictions on licensed operators and because of ease of entry to the market”.

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