Sweden: online casino limits cause revenue to plunge

Sweden introduced temporary limits on deposits and bonuses in July.
Sweden introduced temporary limits on deposits and bonuses in July.

Some licensees have seen revenue fall by a third since new limits on deposits and bonuses were enforced.

Sweden.- Online gambling operators in Sweden have seen revenue plummet due to the new limits on deposits and bonuses.

Tax filings analysed by News 55 for the months of June, July and August showed that some companies saw revenue drop by up to 30 per cent. 

Sweden introduced a temporary SEK5,000 (476) deposit limit and SEK100 cap on bonus offers on July 2. The measure was designed to reduce chances of gambling-related harm during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Figures for the subsequent months show Kindred Group, which runs Unibet and Maria Casino, saw sales fall 28.7 per cent from SEK101m in June to SEK72m in August.

LeoVegas saw revenue drop 29.6 per cent to SEK57m and Hero Gaming 27.8 per cent to SEK13m.

Comeon Group’s Swedish sales fell 29.6 per cent from SEK118m to SEK83m in August – although it shut two brands to Swedish customers in May. 

Bet365, which focuses mainly on sports, fared better with revenue down 6 per cent to SEK64m. Sports betting was made exempt from the new measures.

The state-controlled horseracing betting operator Ab Trav Och Galopp (ATG) meanwhile saw sales increase by 20.2 per cent year-on-year in August.  

Gustaff Hoffstedt, CEO of igaming operators’ association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), said casino-reliant operators were suffering as Swedish players were avoiding the new restrictions by transferring play to overseas operators.

But he said operators were not panicking since most had other markets they can focus on.

He said: “The Swedish gaming companies that are heavy in casino are under pressure. The deposit limit has meant that many players have chosen to leave the licensing system.

“Our member companies are generally licensed in 10 to 15 countries, or more. If Sweden is doing badly, there are other countries where they are active and where things are going better.”

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