Sweden only recently decided to regulate its online gambling industry and put an end to the monopoly that the state-owned Svenska Spel had. The new regulations leveled the playing field to some extend but Svenska Spel continues to be a dominant force in the newly regulated market, showing results better than any other operator in the country.
According to a recent report, Svenska Spel generated SEK 906 million in the first two months of the newly regulated gambling market in Sweden. This is equivalent to around $98 million. Though there are several restrictions in place, it seems that the Swedes are still as interested in gambling with legalized operators. Thanks to the trust that Sevnska Spel enjoys, it has control of nearly 85 percent of the market.
The Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has reported no issues from Svenska Spel so far, though it has some problems with private operators. Spelinspektionen job has become a lot more difficult since the 1 Jan 2019 when the new regulations kicked in. Sweden has so far issued 70 licenses issued and received another 30 license applications since then. This is surprising for such a small market.
Private Operators Booming
It is not just Svenska Spel who is reaping the rewards. Several of the private operators have seen good success. The Kindred Group, which owns Spooniker, earned SEK 247 million in revenue for the two months of its operation. This makes it the best performer amongst private operators. Bet365 is close behind with SEK 117 million in earnings. Overall, private operators have earned around SEK 2.5 billion in just the first two month of 2019.
This is a surprising number considering estimates put Sweden’s total gambling earnings for 2018 at SEK 5 billion. Though the number of gamblers has dropped because of restrictions, the Swedish market seems to have defied predictions and is doing rather well despite having a lot of operators. Experts were predicting that the market would become too saturated when 40 operators entered but that number has almost doubled and things are still looking good for Sweden.
However, there are still quite a few concerns that need to be addressed. With a crowded market, many gambling operators have been skirting some of the laws on gambling advertisement. This has prompted Spelinspektionen to issue some final warnings to operators who have been a bit too aggressive with their advertisements.
Sweden has a lot of work to do in the coming months. As of now, there are still no proper guidelines as to what would be an acceptable marketing campaign in the country!