Gambling operators such as Kindred, Betsson and Leovegas are grabbing a stronger hold of the Swedish gambling market. More than half of all Swedes aged 18-74 gamble in some shape or form an average month, which is an increase compared to last year. Increasingly, gamblers turn to these operators who are currently regulated off-shore.
Mediavision concludes that during the second half of 2017, 55 percent of all Swedes in ages 18-74 spent money on gambling an average month. This marks an increase compared to last year, where the corresponding figure was 50 percent.
– The increase in gambling is noticeable in other ways as well. For instance, the gambling frequency has also increased. In other words, not only are more people gambling, but they do so more often as well. Furthermore, we can also see an increase in the number of Swedes who say they have a personal account registered with a gambling operator, says Arvid Åsbrink, senior consultant at Mediavision.
The driving force behind the development is first and foremost the off-shore regulated operators, such as Kindred, Betsson and Leovegas. These three are all listed on the Stockholm stock exchange but have their gambling licenses registered on Malta. Mediavision’s analysis for the second half of 2017 show that one in eight Swedes gambled with an off-shore regulated operator an average month. Compared to the same period last year, this marks an increase of 25 percent in monthly gambler reach. Sweden regulated operators like ATG and Svenska Spel display a more modest growth.
– We can see how the off-shore operators are gradually increasing their share of the Swedish gambling market. A clear majority of all gambling accounts opened during 2017 were with one of these operators. In terms of money, off-shore operators account for a significantly higher share, than they do when looking at the share of players they have. In other words, their customers are very active with regard to how much money is being deposited into their gambling accounts, how often they play and how much they play for, when comparing with the Sweden regulated operators, says Arvid Åsbrink.
According to the government’s gambling investigation, a re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market is to be set in place on January 1st, 2019. The investigation suggests a licensing system where parts of the Swedish market will be opened up to operators currently regulated off-shore. These areas include online casino, sports betting and horse racing, three very popular forms of gambling among Swedes.
– Ahead of the upcoming re-regulation of the market, operators are battling fiercely to strengthen their positions. This is apparent not in the least in the extensive marketing and the several different company acquisitions we have seen on the market lately. ATG, Mr Green and Leovegas are a few examples of actors who have made acquisitions during the latter half of 2017. The hunt for customers and growth is in full swing, and Mediavision predicts a continued consolidation on the market also after the new regulation is in place, concludes Arvid Åsbrink.