Sweden’s Gambling Market: A Mixed Bag in Q1 2024

  • Key takeaway one: Sweden's licensed gambling operators saw a slight revenue increase year-on-year in Q1 2024, despite a quarterly drop.
  • Key takeaway two: Online gambling continues to dominate, making up 63.6% of the industry's total revenue.
  • Key takeaway three: The closure of Casino Cosmopol's branches in Gothenburg and Malmö significantly impacted state casino revenues, which plummeted by 48.4% year-on-year.

Sweden's gambling landscape has always been a fascinating study of contrasts and trends, and the first quarter of 2024 was no exception. The latest financial report from Spelinspektionen, the nation's gambling authority, provides a comprehensive look into the ebbs and flows of the market, revealing a story of resilience, shifts in preference, and the undeniable impact of regulatory and operational decisions.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

In the spotlight for Q1 2024 is the SEK 6.7 billion ($682.6 million/€576.6 million) revenue generated by licensed operators. This figure, while marking a 7% decrease from the previous quarter, also shows a 1.5% increase compared to Q1 2023, highlighting a subtle yet positive year-on-year growth.

The Online Gambling Dominance

Undeniably, online gambling stands as the towering giant in the industry, accounting for 63.6% of all gambling revenue in the quarter. This segment, encompassing both online casino gaming and sports betting, raked in just under SEK 4.2 billion ($393 million/€336.1 million), slightly up from Q1 2023's SEK 4.1 billion. The enduring popularity of online platforms underscores a global trend towards digital gambling solutions, reflecting advancements in technology and changing consumer behaviors.

The State Lottery and In-person Slot Games

Meanwhile, traditional forms of gambling such as state lottery and in-person slot games maintained a stable presence, generating SEK 1.35 billion ($126.3 million/€116.1 million). This represents a marginal year-on-year decline but a more noticeable 6.2% drop compared to the previous quarter. This slight fluctuation suggests a steady but cautious interest in traditional gambling avenues amid the growing dominance of online platforms.

The Decline of State Casino Gambling

The report also sheds light on the challenges faced by state casino gambling, particularly through Casino Cosmopol. Revenues plummeted to SEK 65 million ($6 million/€5.59 million) in Q1 2024, a stark 48.4% decrease year-on-year. The closure of its branches in Gothenburg and Malmö played a significant role in this downturn, reflecting the potential consequences of operational decisions and market dynamics on gambling revenues.

The Role of Self-Exclusion

An interesting facet of the report is the insight into responsible gambling efforts, with approximately 110,000 individuals enrolled in Spelpaus.se, Sweden's national self-exclusion program. This marks a 6% increase from the previous quarter, indicating a growing awareness and utilization of tools designed to promote gambling responsibility and prevent addiction.

Final Thoughts

Sweden's gambling market in Q1 2024 presents a narrative of resilience amidst challenges, shifting preferences towards online platforms, and the tangible impacts of operational decisions. As the industry navigates the evolving landscape, it continues to offer valuable insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and the importance of balancing growth with responsible gambling practices.

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