The Harmful Impact Of COVID-19 On The Swedish Gambling Market Is Still Ahead

Article by : Helen Jul 27, 2020

According to the latest report published by the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate, the gambling market will only witness the harsh impact of Covid-19 at the end of 2020. If you pay attention to the official position of Sweden’s National Association of Gambling Addicts, the crisis that caused the coronavirus in the world of gambling will become more evident in late fall 2020 or spring 2021. At the same time, the association noted that players are currently spending much more money on gambling, according to statistics. This was also aided by the increased range of online entertainment that emerged during the pandemic.

Despite the almost complete disappearance of sports betting, players have smoothly moved to entirely new online products.

Obviously, it concerns eSports and virtual sports, which experienced a real surge during Covid-19. Moreover, the big sport has recently begun to return, and, accordingly, the demand for betting has only increased. As stated in the statistics from Sweden’s National Problem Gambling Helpline (Spelberoendes Riksforbund), the number of problem players who turned to the organization for help has significantly decreased. However, the bulk of the calls came from gamblers who had problems with online casinos and virtual poker bets. Meanwhile, the number of people who applied with gambling addiction to sports betting and slot machines has significantly decreased.

Spelberoendes Riksforbund also informed that at the moment the most crucial step to reduce gambling addiction will be to block access to unlicensed online sites. This should also apply to operators who are registered in offshore zones. According to the organization, such steps can help reduce gambling addiction and slow down the pace of new registrations on underground gaming platforms.

According to the official reports on the efficiency of the gaming market, the statistics indicate that the gambling business returned to growth in May. This is mainly because AB Trav Och Galopp (ATG) has taken a monopoly in the horse racing market. Spelinspektionen also noted that in May, revenues increased 6% over last year. Meanwhile, only 21 licensees announced an increase in revenue during the month of 32 official operators of the gambling market.

No less important was the information about the decline in the volume of the lottery and slot machine market, controlled by the popular monopoly Svenska Spel. The operator witnessed a 50% decline in March, and then the total volume of the decline fell to 9% in April. Analyzing the indicators for May, the revenue fell by 23% compared to the same period last year. However, Spelinspektionen warns against interpreting such a recession as a direct result of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the revenues of land-based casinos that were closed during the month also decreased.

Sweden is known as one of the most liberal European countries. Democratic laws also apply to the field of gambling. Most types of gambling are legal in the country both in land-based establishments and on specialized Internet platforms. According to the Swedish Ministry of Health, most adults have tried gambling at least once. On average, the industry earns over 40 billion kroons annually. There are 4 leading land-based casinos in Sweden, and slot machines can be found almost everywhere.

As a member of the European Union, Sweden cannot prevent the distribution of goods or services permitted in the EU. Gamblers have no restrictions on playing on external sites. That, in turn, constitute serious competition for Swedish operators. Official casino websites in Sweden have strict requirements for players. For example, a user must determine the amount he/she is willing to spend on games during the week. After this limit, access to the casino is blocked.

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