Spelinspektionen reveals Swedish sales increase of 5%

Spelinspektionen, the Swedish Gambling Inspectorate, has detailed a 5% year-on-year increase in the number of betting and gaming sales in the country during Q3 2021.

Publishing the preliminary sales figures for the third quarter of the year (players’ contributions minus winnings paid out), the authority updated that gaming companies with a Swedish licence – there are now 95 companies with an active licence in the country as of September 2021 – had sales of SEK 6.3 billion.

The sales marked a 5% increase on the figure in the corresponding quarter in 2020, although the total figure of 6.3 represented a slight decline on Q2 2021 sales of 6.5.

Providing a unit breakdown, Spelinspektionen detailed that the single largest number of sales were generated from commercial online gambling, meaning web-based betting and casino products, standing at 3.9 billion sales.

This, however, also represented a small drop on the Q2 2021 figure of 4.1 billion sales, although it did mark a rise on the Q3 2020 sales of 3.6 billion. The dominance of this product offering is explained by the fact that of the 95 licenced Swedish operators, 65 hold a licence for commercial online gaming.

Comparatively, the vertical which experienced the greatest sales volume growth was land-based commercial gaming, which saw figures rise meteorically from eight billion in the second quarter to 47,000 in the third, as well as a rise on the same time period one year prior of 34,000.

This could be explained by consumer attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw Sweden recommended work from home and social distancing policy to the general public, although unlike other countries a national lockdown was not enforced.

The wider increase in sales from the second to third quarter is linked with the end of the temporary restrictions imposed on the country’s online betting and gaming industry earlier this month, with the measures as a means of enhancing consumer protection during the pandemic.

Notable new policies included a mandatory SEK 5,000 (€480) weekly deposit limit on player accounts imposed on licensed operators, whilst restricting customer bonus incentives to SEK100 (€10).

Despite criticism, the protective measures – which were first imposed on 1 July 2020 – were extended several times by Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Social Securities Minister, having been reviewed on a quarterly basis.

In a similar fashion, the reopening of Casino Cosmopol – which operates casinos in the cities of Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm – saw sales generated from state operated casino games reach 132 million during the third quarter, as opposed to zero sales made throughout the previous year.

Meanwhile, sales for state lottery and slot machine games and national lottery or ‘games for public benefit’ remained steady at around 1.4 billion – although declining slightly from the second quarter – but national lottery sales declined to 8.0 million sales from 9.4 million the previous quarter.

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