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Deyan Dimitrov January 11, 2024 2 min read
Swedish Gambling Authority Survey Reveals Worrying Trends
Many Swedish players were unaware of the differences between regulated and black market operators, undermining the regulator’s efforts to create a safer market
A November 2023 survey conducted by the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) in collaboration with research company Enkätfabriken provides valuable insights into Swedes’ gambling habits and awareness levels. The data sheds light on key trends and sentiments related to gambling in the country and highlights the government’s ongoing efforts to curb gambling harm.
Effective Regulation Requires Comprehensive Data
The survey results revealed some intriguing insights into the gambling habits of Swedes. According to the data, a staggering 75% of Sweden’s population had engaged in gambling activities in the past 12 months. At the time of the study, 41% of respondents had gambled in the last week, showcasing an increase compared to previous surveys in 2022 (38%) and 2021 (34%).
Relatively low-risk verticals remained the most popular, with lottery retaining its position as the most popular form of gambling. 74% of respondents who had gambled in the last 12 months revealed they had participated in lotteries, with trotting ranked second with 25%, followed by sports betting and bingo at 15%, and online casinos at 10%.
Gambling harm rates appear to be on the rise, as roughly 10% of respondents felt that they had gambled too much in the last year. The percentage of people who played to chase profits also increased, as did the number of respondents who knew someone close to them experiencing issues with excessive gambling.
The Unregulated Sector Is on the Rise
The survey revealed a worrying lack of awareness regarding black-market gambling, as 91% of respondents did not know how to determine if a website held a Swedish gaming license. Even among those who played almost daily, 59% could not identify licensed sites. Only 40% believed playing at licensed sites had an advantage, marking a 13% decrease from the 2022 survey.
Such data aligns with warnings from Sweden’s online gambling association, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, which highlighted how misguided regulations made licensed operators less competitive compared to black market entities. The organization notes that the upcoming gambling tax increase will further exacerbate these issues and further destabilize the country’s fragile market.
The newest SGA data highlights the need for increased awareness and education on responsible gambling practices. Swedish gamblers require better ways to identify licensed sites and understand the advantages of playing on licensed platforms. Rising problem gambling rates also indicate that the government needs to rethink its policies and focus on counteracting unlicensed operators.