The report suggests Sweden could create 500 new jobs if it reduced restrictions on licensed operators.
Sweden.- A new report commissioned by the online gaming operator association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel has outlined economic benefits for the country if it reduced restrictions on gaming. The report says an easing of restrictions could result in a rise in gambling tax takings and nearly 500 new jobs.
An increase in the rate of channelisation from 80 per cent to 90 per cent could create 460 new jobs and boost tax by an estimated SEK1.1bn, the report claims.
But to achieve that, players would need more incentive to use licensed offerings, for example by being able to take advantage of bonus offers. Swedish gambling regulations currently only allow licensed operators to offer a single bonus to each player on sign-up.
Dr Nima Sanandaji, author of the BOS-commissioned report, said: “”Sweden has everything to gain from reviewing gaming regulation in order to ease some of the restrictions that drive most gaming consumers to the unlicensed gaming market.
“This is where the rigid bonus ban stands out. It does not allow any benefit to loyal gaming customers. Sweden pays a high price for that regulation in terms of lost players who instead choose unlicensed play.”
Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary General of BOS, said: “It is our hope that this report will get more people interested in the gaming industry’s contribution to Sweden, as well as the still untapped opportunities that exist for the politician who works for an inclusion of the gaming industry in Sweden’s business policy.”
The report notes that the licensed gaming sector contributes a little under SEK10bn (€940.4m) to Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is a source of 4,200 permanent jobs. It contributes around SEK800m in sponsorship to Swedish sports and around SEK4bn in tax. However, Dr Sanandaji warned that the offshore market was expected to generate revenue of SEK21bn between 2021 and 2025.
Earlier this month, the Linköping Administrative Court maintained three fines and reduced a fourth in an appeal by online gaming operator ComeOn over four fines issued by Sweden’s gaming regulator Spelinspektionen for breaches of the bonus rules.
Spelinspektionen had fined ComeOn’s Casinostugan SEK25m (€2.49m), ComeOn Sweden SEK35m, Hajper Ltd SEK50m and Snabbare Ltd SEK65m for offering bonuses to players who already had accounts.
Last month, the Swedish Treasury called for tougher controls on affiliates after its report on the regulated gaming market found channelisation lagging behind the country’s target.