The Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen announced the start of an information campaign on the Spelpaus self-exclusion program in which it seeks to educate players about the dangers of gambling problems. The agency concluded that during the pandemic blockade the Swedes increased their gambling activity.
The new campaign implemented by Spelinspektionen this week, reminds players of the existence of the system that prohibits access to casino games. So far some 58,000 people have signed up for the Spelpaus program, which was launched in january 2019 by the regulator simultaneously with the country’s regulated online marketplace.
Spelinspektionen spokesman Anders Sims reported that according to a market survey ordered by the regulator, there was an increase in the percentage of online gamers who know about the existence of Spelpaus. The figure increased from 54% in 2019 to 71% this year. Although the regulator considers that it is good, it believes that “it could be even better”.
Swedes played more in 2019
The new campaign consists of 13 advertising spots related to various websites that promote the existence of Spelpaus and educate viewers on certain symptoms when there are gambling problems. The messages of the campaign that will be extended until mid-january focus on three audiences: women, relatives of players with problems and people of foreign origin.
Spelinspektionen’s intervention appears to have been prompted by its latest market study which found an increase in the participation of Swedes in gambling. During 2019, 66% of the population would have participated in some form of gambling. This represents a six-point increase over last year’s study of gaming participation in 2018. However, the 2020 percentages are similar to those recorded in 2017 and 2018.
The increase last year suggests that there was an alteration during the first year of operation of the regulated online market, given its novelty. An example of this is that the clients of the state monopolies ATG (racing) and Svenska Spel (lottery, betting), could also for the first time casino games in online casino on the two sites.
Svenska Spel alone accounted for 55% of the country’s online plyer share this year. Despite the fact that this figure represents a decrease compared to 2019 when it was registered 63%. Likewise, there was an increase from 17% to 23% because Swedish racing was not interrupted by the covid-19 pandemic like sports.
Swedish players don’t know if playing on Swedish sites is advantageous
When it comes to private online operators, Bet365 remains in the lead with 4% since 2019. But it had to share this top spot with Kindred Group’s Unibet site, which rose one point from last year. While the Betsson and Mr Green brands remain anchored at 1% since 2019 and the other operators have negligible percentages.
The fact is that in the Swedish regulator’s survey 95% of the 1,737 respondents did not know whether the sites where they played had a license to operate or not. On the other hand, around two-thirds of those surveyed said they knew nothing about the advantages of playing on Swedish sites over those with an international license.
Just 3% of those surveyed claimed to have played with on a site of an internationally licensed operator this year. But this figure may increase if the current pandemic restrictions on online casinos are extended until june 2021.
Regarding the level of participation, lotteries remain the main gaming activity. The survey revealed that the level of participation is 61%. Then, but apart, the bets on ponies appear with 32%, followed by sports bets with 22% and bingo with 18%. While casino games without slots scored 11%, poker 8% and slots 5%.
Proportion of online and land games
When comparing participation percentages online and in land games, there is some balance. Lotteries appear at 32% and poker at 5%, while online racing bets recorded 20% beating land based ones at 15%. Online sports betting was highly favored (17%) compared to physical betting (7%).
In bingo, on the other hand, bingo players had clear preferences for retail operations (12%) over online ones (6%). Not so the online casino games that obtained 7% over the physical game 4%.