Postkodlotteriets Managing Director Anders Årbrandt:
“The consumers are tired of massive gaming marketing”
Currently almost half of Swedens gambling market is online (46 per cent is the official figure from 2017).
But Postkodlotteriet is the countrys most successful lottery – and actually only 2 per cent of it’s revenue is generated online.
i-Gaming Forum talked to Postkodlotteriets Managing Director Anders Årbrandt, about the upcoming reregulation.
There are some aspects of the reregulation, that do not affect Postkodlotteriet.
Like the proposed 18 per cent tax rate for operators:
– In Sweden, only non-profit organizations can hold lottery licenses. And non-profit organizations don’t pay company taxes. Svenska Postkodföreningen, whom is holding the lottery license for Svenska Postkodlotteriet, will therefore not be affected by the proposed tax rate. Of course, Novamedia Sverige AB, the operator of Postkodlotteriet, pays 22 percent company tax, just like all other companies, explains Managing Director Anders Årbrandt.
How do you think that Postkodlotteriet will be impacted by the Swedish reregulation? For example, Svenska Spel can now move into “red gaming”, like online casino, and make more revenue from that?
– We will all be impacted and I find that very good. It will lead to a market with fair rules, for the ones that wants to do business in Sweden. We will be obliged to follow the same laws and contribute by paying Swedish taxes etc. I hope that a larger regulated market will lead to cooperation between the different segments within the market. Through cooperation we will be able to create a business that is unified and that strive in the same direction.
Do you have any message for the Swedish regulator, Lotteriinspektionen? Is there something in particular to “watch out for”?
– Secure both mandate and resources, to be able to be more accessible. And give the actors a chance to get to know the authority. And vice versa, to secure a good dialogue and mutual understanding.
Postkodlotteriet gives away a lot of its profit to society, and to “good causes”. But also, you “only” give back 40 per cent of the turnover to the customers buying the lottery tickets. Will this change in any way?
– In 2018 we will give 42,5 percent back to the players. Which plays well with the regulations which states that lotteries shall have a return to players between 35 and 50 percent. Giving away the surplus to NGO’s, more than one billion SEK in 2017, is the fundamental thought of the four Postcode Lotteries. In total; Svenska Postkodlotteriet has handed out 9,4 billion SEK since the start in 2005. Our customers participate mainly because of the dream of winning, but also because they appreciate their contribution to the 55 beneficiaries of the Lottery. I predict that the return to the players will continue to be around 40-45 percent in the future.
There has been a “marketing war” going on, in the Swedish media. Svenska Spel accuses the foreign operators of advertising and marketing for unreasonably huge amounts. At the same time, Svenska Spel themselves are a massive spender. Any opinion on this?
– The consumers are tired of the massive marketing by companies in our business. This, together with other factors, has led to a decreasing reputation for the market. This is unfortunate, since a strong reputation often equals strong business and vice versa. All marketing shall be made in a responsible way, regardless of where the business is regulated; in Sweden or abroad. Our business comes with a responsibility. All actors on this market are distributing products, that may in the worst-case cause problems for the players. A fact that we must take into consideration while marketing our products.
You had one of your own adverts assessed by the the Swedish Gambling Associations SEEM recently, the one with a family celebrating Christmas with their mother. That was criticized. Are the current “limits” too harsh?
– I don’t find the limits too harsh but I believe that there are too many parties to take in to consideration. Today, we are regulated by the marketing regulation, the lottery regulation and the radio- and TV-regulation, just to mention a few of the regulations, and we are assessed by for instance RO (Reklamombudsmannen) and The Swedish Gambling Associations (SPERs) initiative SEEM. I am a strong believer of self-regulation, and if I could make a wish it would be a lower number of parties.
Anders Årbrandt continues:
– We chose to report three of our own initiatives to SEEM to get a clearer view of where the limits are for marketing. Since there are some grey areas when it comes to ethics. We will use the result of the assessment when creating upcoming campaigns.
Your concept “Postcode” Lottery is active in other countries. What experiences can you profit from, seeing how your product has worked in other countries?
– We cooperate within many areas, for example marketing and we have a deep cooperation between our four existing markets, for example within marketing and sustainability, and we are currently building up our business on our fifth market, Norway. Together with the goal to go live later this year. At the same time, all businesses are local; The lotteries vary from country to country due to both regulations and to the fact that nationalities differ.