Online Gambling Liberalization Surprisingly Not Lifting Participation in Sweden

Home » Online Gambling Liberalization Surprisingly Not Lifting Participation in Sweden

Why is Sweden’s gambling participation rate following given the country’s liberalization of online betting?

Sports betting and casino and poker venues are competing with online sites.

The online market was regulated early in the year and it should have enticed players. But it didn’t. Lotteries and other opportunities are dragging them away (numbers games and horseracing wagering).

The survey tells the tale

Sweden’s Spelinspektionen gambling regulatory body has released the results of a recent survey of 1,600 known gamblers. While 60% reported participating in 2019, the figure is down from 2013, the time of the first survey.

The decline is surprisingly large. Each year has trended downward, but the last twelve months show the greatest drop in percentage.

The survey also reveals the dominance of men at 45%, just a bit below 2018. Weekly activity came in at 33% and monthly gaming at 58%.

The lower overall participate rate is likely due to fewer winnings and less confidence in the market. Plus, complaints over too frequent ads have grown.

One entity remains dominant—the state-run Svenska Spel that drew 63% of Sweden’s online players this year at least one time. This is eleven points higher than the first survey.

Next in line is the AB Trav and Galopp horseracing monopoly at 17% and Bet365 at a meagre 4%. Both outpaced Unibet at 3%. A few other operators get a 1% honorable mention: William Hill’s MRG, Betsson (with its Betsafe offshoot).

The sportsbook Pinnacle finally gained a foothold on the list while PokerStars was eliminated along with LeoVegas, cherry AB and Maria Casino.

A new area of the survey pertained to sites without a Swedish license to see how many players have broken the rules. Many choose to patronize internationally licensed sites in pursuit of better odds.


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