ComeOn Group has announced the shutdown of two brands for the Swedish market. Cherrycasino.com and Sveacasino.com will close on May 18.
ComeOn Group Shutdowns Two Brands
The online casino industry in Sweden continues to undergo a period of rapid change. This time, ComeOn Group is shutting down two brands to reflect the group’s pursuit of optimizing its offer and focus on high-performing brands. The operator has announced that the brands Cherrycasino.com and Sveacasino.com will be shut down only in Sweden. Lahcene Merzoug, CEO ComeOn Group, commented on the pending closure:
We are taking these measures in order to consolidate the group’s offer. We want to give the customers the best gaming experiences and we do this by focusing on our best performing brands.-ComeOn Group CEO Lahcene Merzoug
The sites will be shut down on May 18 but the brands have already stopped accepting new sign-ups or deposits. Player accounts are also going to be closed by that date. ComeOn Group recommended consumers to check the other available ComeOn/Cherry brands which are still available in Sweden, such as Snabbare, Hajper and Mobilautomaten. Due to the planned shutdown, the country’s regulator, Spelinspektionen, will need to update its online licenses list.
Bad Climate for Cherry Since the 2019 Start
The latest shut down operations is not the first challenge for the ComeOn/Cherry brands. Back in January 2019, when the brand just entered the market, Cherry received a license for duration of only two years. For example, most licenses are for a five-year period, but Cherry was deemed as “an uncertain organization”, thus resulting in the short-term license. Then Cherry went to an administrative court in order to appeal this decision. In October 2019, the appeal was rejected.
Other ComeOn brands also suffered from Sweden’s authorities. Hajper received a penalty last year after the country’s ombudsman took issue with the company cartoon mascot which was displayed on a poster. Spelinspektionen applied a penalty on ComeOn, Hajper and Snabbare under the pretext that sports betting was offered to players which were under 19 years old.
The Swedish Gambling Industry Unites Against the Restrictions
Earlier this week, ComeOn Group CEO Lahcene Merzoug joined the petition organized by the country’s operator association Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel (BOS). The petition disapproves the restrictive measures proposed in April by Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi.
The restrictions, planned to be implemented on June 1 include a time limit and deposit restrictions for online gamblers. So far, twelve operators running business in Sweden have joined, which according to BOS secretary general Gustaf Hoffstedt represents nearly half of the Swedish online gambling market.
The main concern that the petition is raising is that if such restrictive measures are applied, many consumers will turn to online unregulated markets. Such occurrence can be devastating for the gambling industry as well as the country’s economy, BOS fears.
Correction: A previous version of this article implied that ComeOn had reached its decision as a form of protest to new regulatory measures in the Swedish market. This is not true. ComeOn is simply restructuring its operations in a manner that the Group sees fit to provide players with the best possible experience.