Sweden’s gambling participation sees a slow but steady decline

By Caroline Watson
For the first nine months of 2017, ending September, Sweden’s overall gambling revenue totalled SEK16.5bn ($1.97bn), a 3% increase on last year’s financial results for the same period.

Swedish-licensed operators are responsible for SEK12.5bn of the total revenue, with international operators witnessing their market share climbing 11%, to just over SEK4bn.

Earlier this month, Sweden’s gaming regulators posted figures from its annual survey of the national gambling market, revealing that gambling participation is in steady decline.

The Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body’s results also showed that 66% of the 1,044 adults surveyed had engaged in at least one form of gambling over the past 12 months.

Whilst this figure is down only two points from the 2016 survey, this number has been trending downward in each of the past four results.

Although these figures were somewhat discouraging, the results also showed that problem gambling rates remain low and consistent.

The Swedish gambling landscape is going through a period of momentous change, with state-owned Svenska Spel expected to lose its online gambling monopoly through privatisation.

The Lotteriinspektionen’s results did however show that of the adults who partook in online gambling, Svenska Spek was by far the preferred online operator, netting a majority in 52% of the survey responses.

It will be interesting to see what these figures will look like once Svenska Spel’s online monopoly is no more. However, no action is expected to be taken until after the September 2018 national elections, meaning no actual market changes until early 2019 at the earliest.

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