A survey carried out by the national regulator found 7 per cent of players used unlicensed gaming sites in Sweden.
Sweden.- The national gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has published the results of a new survey that suggests a rise in the use of unlicensed gaming sites.
Of 3,208 people who responded to the regulator’s latest survey, 7 per cent said they had used a site that wasn’t licensed in Sweden. That’s a rise of four percentage points from the last time the regulator carried out such a survey.
The vast majority of respondents claimed they only used Sweden-licensed gaming sites, but a further 12 per cent were not sure whether they had used unlicensed sites or not.
Those who admitted playing on unlicensed sites were also more likely to admit to having spent more on gaming during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey found that 32 per cent of those who used unlicensed sites did so at least once a quarter, and 19 per cent of those said they were spending more than before the pandemic.
Close to half of the players who used unlicensed sites found the sites by searching online, while 31 per cent found them via advertising or through recommendations from friends.
A quarter cited better odds as the main reason for using unlicensed sites, while close to 20 per cent did so to avoid Sweden’s temporary SEK 5,000 (€490) deposit limit on online slots, which is currently due to remain in place until mid-November.
Some 60 per cent of those who play on unlicensed sites at least once a quarter did so on lottery games. The next most popular unlicensed gaming was betting on horse racing and betting on other sports.
Meanwhile, 10 per cent of players believed they had played too much in the three months before the survey, with those who used unlicensed sites more likely to report this.
Spelinspektionen noted that there were potential concerns over the accuracy of the surveys since customers are not always aware of which sites were licensed.
Swedish gaming revenue rose 5 per cent year-on-year to SEK6.25bn (€615.3m) in the first quarter. SEK3.94bn came from commercial online gambling operators, an increase of 7.4 per cent year-on-year.
In May, Spelinspektionen ordered three unlicensed gaming operators to stop targeting the Swedish market without the appropriate licence. It ordered Cerberlot NV, Digi Markets NV and Prism Marketing Limited to cease targeting players in Sweden with immediate effect.