Offshore growth takes Swedish revenue to SEK23.4bn in 2018

22 February 2019

The Swedish gambling market saw revenue grow 1.5% in 2018, driven by growth in regulated and offshore igaming.

Total revenue increased to SEK23.4bn (£1.9bn/€2.2bn/$2.5bn), with a 2.3% year-on-year decline in regulated market revenue to SEK16.7bn.

This was offset by a 12.4% increase from unlicensed operators targeting the market, with these companies seeing revenue for the year rising to SEK6.7bn. The country’s gaming regulator Spelinspektionen noted that a significant number of these offshore operators had been awarded licences for the country’s re-regulated igaming market, which opened on January 1, 2019.

Focusing on the regulated market, Svenska Spel accounted for more than half of total revenue, despite its full-year figure of SEK8.8bn representing a 2.2% decline from 2017. This decline was due to a 9.7% drop in land-based gaming revenue, which fell to SEK6.1bn, though the state-owned operator’s online offering grew 20.0% to SEK2.7bn for the year.

AB Trav och Galopp (ATG), which held the monopoly on horse race betting before the market was re-regulated, saw revenue fall 1.5% year-on-year to SEK4.1bn. This was down to a 10.7% decline in land-based revenue, to SEK1.6bn, with the online business up 5.2% at SEK2.5bn.

The market’s third-largest business was the Swedish Postcode Lottery, though it reported a 2.7% dip in revenue to SEK2.0bn for 2018. Land-based sales were down 2.3% to SEK2.0bn, with the online offering reporting a 25.7% decline to just SEK28m. All regulated offerings saw revenue decline from the third quarter of the year, though Folkspel did report a 3% increase in the final quarter, albeit from a low base. The lottery's revenue for the year amounted to SEK673m.

The biggest decline in the year was reported by the lottery operated by the Swedish temperance movement IOGT-NTO, which saw revenue fall 23.7% year-on-year to SEK224m.

The trend reported by Spelinspektionen in recent years, of players shifting away from land-based gaming to online, continued in 2018. Online gaming accounted for 52% of total market revenue - including offshore sites - which represented a 12.2% year-on-year increase, while land-based gaming fell 7.9%.

Online casino was the strongest performer, with revenue up 13.7% for the year, followed by online wagering, which was up 11.5%.

The figures were the last to cover the Swedish market before regulation, which also saw the country’s regulator Lotteriinspektionen rebranded as Spelinspektionen.