When Swedens parliament votes for reregulation in the summer, one operator will for sure be involved in a huge way:
Svenska Spel, the big state-backed sports betting and lottery operator, with about 40 per cent of the market share.
Of course, it goes without saying that operators that will apply for a Swedish license after July 1 are keeping close tabs on what Svenska Spel is doing.
And Svenska Spel have of course been preparing for the reregulation for some time. The operator is already using affiliates, but after the reregulation ”red gaming” like online casino will become a first for Svenska Spel.
But what does Svenska Spels management actually think about the reregulation?
Chief Communications Officer Joakim Mörnefält is part of Svenska Spels management team, and he is also a speaker at the i-Gaming Forum, at Berns Salonger in Stockholm on April 17th – 18th.
I-Gaming Forums Editorial Director Robert Okpu asked him some important questions.
What general opinion, does Svenska Spel have of the reregulation? Will the increased competition that will ensue now – be offset by new opportunities for new Svenska Spel products, like online casino etc?
“Svenska Spel welcomes the reregulation of the Swedish gambling market. We really look forward to fair competition on equal terms. We have been losing market shares, because we haven’t been able to offer certain games like online casino. Now we will finally be able to apply for those licenses, which will lead to exciting new opportunities and growth.
Does Svenska Spel have any opinion, about the proposed 18 per cent tax rate, for those wanting a gambling license in Sweden?
“The key factor regarding the tax rate is that it is at a level that attracts as many gambling companies as possible to apply for a license – to channel the market as much as possible. We are confident that our government and parliament will make an informed decision regarding the tax rate based on the gambling license investigation.”
Last year, the online market share of the Swedish Gambling market, was 46 per cent (10,3 billion Swedish kronor). How does Svenska Spel think the online growth will be for Svenska Spel, five or ten years going forward?
“Right now, the online sales are growing strongly. This also applies to Svenska Spel and above all our sales via mobile devices. It increased by 59 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017 and by 49 per cent for the whole of 2017. We cannot predict if it will continue to grow in five or ten years from now, but we are convinced that the reregulation will be positive for Svenska Spel and our share of the online market.”
The online market is currently dominated by operators that do not have a Swedish license. Do you see Svenska Spel increasing its market share here significantly, going forward?
“Yes, we are looking forward to the new market situation where we will be able to offer new products like an online casino. We are convinced that a strong online product offering for the ‘licence’ subsidiary of Svenska Spel will attract new customers and generate market shares.”
ATG, the big state horse racing operator, has almost 20 per cent of the market share in Swedish gambling going into the reregulation. Does Svenska Spel see ATG becoming a more direct competitor, now that ATG will be more “at liberty”, about what products to offer (outside of horse racing)?
“ATG is already our biggest competitor online today. ATG is a serious and competent gambling company, for whom we have the greatest respect. When the new gambling market opens up for license applications, it may well be that we apply for licenses for the same gambling products, a scenario that we find inspiring and positive.”
The reregulation time schedule for the Swedish Gambling Authority, Lotteriinspektionen, is quite tight after the vote in Riksdagen. IF this reregulation is not rolled out on 1 January 2019 – but let’s say 1 April 2019… will this create significant problems for Svenska Spel?
“We are fully aware that it is a preliminary timetable and are prepared to be flexible if the timetable changes. The exact date on which the new gambling market comes into force is not crucial, but the sooner the better. We look forward to compete on equal terms for new market shares. We will be ready!”