Betsson and Svenska Spel Find Swedish Market Tough

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Betsson Group's experience center.
  • Betsson and Svenska Spel among the affected operators in Sweden
  • Results fall across the board for all operators
  • Bonuses and advertisement could be banned

Betsson is the latest operator to be affected by the tough Swedish market where regulatory measures intensify.

Svenska Spel and Betsson’s Results Tank in Sweden

Newly-regulated, the Swedish gambling market has proven a tough challenge for the majority of entrants. From Svenska Spel to Betsson, companies have been facing a tough time. Some have been warned not to flout the established advertising rules while others have been stripped of their licenses.

In the case of Svenska Spel, the company posted a poor half year, concluding on June 30, 2019. Things haven’t been different with Betsson, another flagship operator posting the same moribund results over the quarter.

Betsson reported a 5-percent-year-over-year drop in revenue, finishing the year at SEK1.28 billion, approximately $136 million at the time of reporting. Earnings took a nosedive with another 24% to SEK287.4 million and then income bore the brunt of the quarter, with results sliding by the whopping 37%, posting SEK171.6 million over the period.

Just as in the case of Svenska Spel, Betsson seemed to have strong sports betting results, but all other segments took a bite. Some have pointed out to a toughening regulatory climate while others explained that the main reason for the results was none other than too much competition. The Spelinspektionen has issued over 30 licenses to iGaming companies in Sweden so far.

Betsson is also facing troubles elsewhere and particularly in the Netherlands where the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) started issuing fines to so-called rogue players, i.e. gambling companies that have not complied with regulations.

Put simply, Betsson has been fined for offering gambling products – knowingly and intentionally – to Dutch gamers, even though the company had no official license. In fact, nobody can run legal gambling products in the Netherlands as the industry is not expected to become legal before July 1, 2020.

Betsson’s problems in the West and in the Nordic countries have intensified notably, but the brand has been developing better in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as parts of Asia. Results in these regions improved by 22% overall.

Bickering Over Advertising and Regulation

Even though Swedish TV was full of gambling advertisement ahead of the launch on January 1, 2019, regulators are beginning to re-consider their stance. Operators have been warned to reduce their adverts, but without clear guidelines, the result is that nearly every company is flouting what the watchdogs consider to be good behaviour.

As a result, all operators may need to dispense with their ads amid a new and mulled gambling ads ban in the country. Operators are already restricted in terms of bonuses, with no iGaming venue allowed to offer any sort of promotion after

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