Swedish Gambling Markets Are Still Fertile For Unlicensed Operators

Swedish Gambling

The licensed gambling market in Sweden is losing its ground against the unlicensed operators, as shown in the quarterly figures released this week.

The unregulated and unlicensed sector has maintained an edge over the regulated market in the country. The scenario could change with the new iGaming regulations coming to the fore in early 2019. The regulations attempt to bring users from the unregulated online operators to the Lotteriinspektionen regulated operators. This move could finally help the authorities crush the informal and unregulated gaming sector in the country.

According to the new statistics, the gross gaming revenue in the country grew by 1.2 percent to SEK 16.8 billion in the first nine months of the year. However, the Lotteriinspektionen suggests that the total revenue generated by the licensed operators fell during this period. The regulated operators brought in just SEK 12.2 billion of the total, down by 2.4 percent compared to last year. At the same time, unlicensed operators increased their revenue by 12.4 percent to SEK 4.5 billion, year on year.

The report also suggests that the Swedish market is dominated by local operators with 73 percent market share while non-Swedish companies account for the rest 27 percent. However, their growing revenues also highlight their growing influence on Swedish gamers. Online gambling has seen considerable amount of interest in the country, with revenue increasing by 12.9 percent in the third quarter.

Land-based gaming revenues increased by just 8.2 percent during the same period. The land-based casino market in Sweden is limited to four entities located in Malmo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Sundsvall, collectively called Casino Cosmopol.

Online betting became very popular in the third quarter, growing by 13.6 percent year on year. The increase in online revenues comes after the licensed operators were prohibited from providing online casino games. This is keeping the licensed operators away while creating a hay day for the international operators who are now free to gobble up the Swedish revenues.

Illegal operators in the country generated an estimated $300 million in revenue. Though online gambling is not banned, it is still operating under several strict regulations in the country. The authorities are planning hefty fines on illegal operators to crack down on the unregulated sector through new laws that have been in the making for 18 months. The new regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2019, and will apply to all operators providing unlicensed or banned products to the Swedish gamers.