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A slow but steady decline in Swedish gambling participation

George Miller

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decline in Swedish gambling participation
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There’s been a slow but steady decline in the number of Swedes who admit to gambling in the past year, according to the latest survey by the country’s gambling regulator.

On Wednesday, the Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body released its annual snapshot of the average Swedish gambler, which showed that 66% of the 1,044 adults surveyed had engaged in at least one form of gambling over the past 12 months. (The full survey results can be found here, in Swedish.)

The figure is down only two points from the 2016 survey, but this number has been trending downward in each of the past four annual surveys and is now five points below the 2014 survey.

Of those who hadn’t gambled in the last 12 months, 34% claimed it was because they never won anything, a five-point rise in this justification from 2016. A further 22% said it was because they had no confidence in the current gaming market, also up five points year-on-year.

Only 3% of respondents copped to having gambled too much at some point in the past year, a number that has remained unchanged over the past four years. These problem gamblers skewed heavily male, with 4% of men saying they’d imbibed too much while just 1% of women answered ‘ja’ to this question.

Of those Swedes who partook in online gambling, the (for the moment) state-owned Svenska Spel was by far the preferred online operator, netting a majority 52% chunk of the responses. Sweden’s monopoly horserace betting operator ATG ranked second with 16%, the only other operator to achieve a double-digit score.

As for the rest of this chart, the Kindred Group’s Unibet ranked highest, albeit with a mere 3%. Local boys Betsson tied with UK betting giants Bet365 at 2%, while Kindred Group’s female-friendly Maria Casino, The Stars Group’s PokerStars, Mr Green, LeoVegas and Cherry AB were all knotted up at 1% apiece. (Of all these operators, only Bet365 and PokerStars don’t have Swedish roots.)

It’s worth noting that while Svenska Spel’s online turnover amounted to SEK 1b (US $119m) in the first half of 2017, combined turnover from ‘non-Swedish actors’ came to SEK 2.65b during this same period, so while Svenska Spel gets the most Swedish customers, they’re mostly lottery-playing minnows, while the other sites get the real Swedish fish.

COURT SIDES WITH GOVERNMENT OVER ONLINE GAMBLING ADVERTS
Sweden is currently on the slow road to online gambling liberalization that will end Svenska Spel’s online monopoly and allow international operators the right to apply for local licenses. However, no action is expected to be taken until after the September 2018 national elections, meaning no actual market changes until early 2019 at the earliest.

In October, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court upheld a controversial ban on local media outlets running advertising for internationally licensed online gambling operators. The issue had been brewing for years, with Svenska Spel blaming the media for helping these international rapscallions undercut its online offering.

Lotteriinspektionen director general Camilla Rosenberg, who formally took over from the departed Håkan Hallstedt last month, said she expected all media companies to now follow the rules, while warning that the ruling would make prosecuting uncooperative media companies a far more simpler process.

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Playzido Signs Distribution Deal With Playtech

Niji Narayan

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Playzido Signs Distribution Deal With Playtech
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Playzido has entered into a distribution deal with Playtech. The deal will enable Playzido to deliver games through the Playtech Games Marketplace.

“Playzido is hugely proud to be working in partnership with Playtech, undeniably one of the world’s leading online gaming brands. The deal will accelerate our reach into strategic key markets and will enable us to distribute our innovative portfolio of games to new audiences. We look forward to a building a long and successful relationship together,” Stuart Banks, Managing Director of Playzido, said.

“We’re delighted to welcome Playzido to the Playtech Games Marketplace. Playzido offers an extensive and innovative games range that will add a further point of differentiation to our platform, and which we know can appeal to licensees and their players in several key markets. This agreement will enable Playtech to further enhance the selection offered via Marketplace and allow Playzido to reach a whole new audience in regulated markets internationally,” James Frendo, Director of Casino at Playtech, said.

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Playtech Launches Live Deal or No Deal – The Big Draw

Niji Narayan

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Playtech Launches Live Deal or No Deal – The Big Draw
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Gambling technology company Playtech has launched its new game “Live Deal or No Deal – The Big Draw.” This bouncing ball game is based on the iconic TV gameshow, Deal or No Deal.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the excitement of one of TV’s most enduring formats to Live. With the addition of the mini draw side game, allowing players to buy multiple tickets with up 6 points of decision making during the game, whether it be to buy more balls or take the bankers offer, Live Deal or No Deal – The Big Draw brings the player a new level of engagement and strategical involvement. For many players, Live play is as much about the experience as it is about gambling, and we’ve seen a growing trend towards gameshow-style formats – which is why we’re so confident Live Deal or No Deal will definitely be a big draw,” Edo Haitin, MD of Playtech Live Casino, said.

“We’re thrilled to be extending our partnership with Playtech through the launch of Live Deal or No Deal – The Big Draw. The in-studio presentation is fantastic and, with the combination of a proven format and innovative elements such as the mini draw, we believe it offers something genuinely unique and entertaining for Live players which aligns with the brand,” Lex Scott, Head of Business Development for Banijay Brands, said.

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888 Holdings Names Jonathan Mendelsohn as its New Chairman

Niji Narayan

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888 Holdings Names Jonathan Mendelsohn as its New Chairman
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Online gambling firm 888 Holdings has named British lobbyist Jonathan Mendelsohn as its next chairman, replacing former chief executive and current chair Brian Mattingley. Mendelsohn will take over the role after Mattingley’s departure at the next annual general meeting in May 2021.

The FTSE-250 firm appointed Mendelsohn as its non-executive director as well, 888 Holdings said, adding that he also joined the board’s remuneration and audit committee.

Mendelsohn is having more than 20 years of industry experience. He previously co-founded Oakvale Capital, which is a leading M&A and strategic advisory boutique focusing on the gaming, gambling and sports sectors.

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