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70+ Operators Approved Under Sweden’s Newly Liberalized Gambling Market

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Sweden’s newly liberalized online gambling market has only been in place for a couple of months, but already it is proving a success. Spelinspektionen (the Swedish Gambling Authority), granted licences to 60 gambling operators before the new laws were implemented on January 1. It has since approved an additional 13 operators, bringing the total number of licence holders to 73.

 Sweden’s Liberalized Gambling Laws Having Intended Effect

 Spelinspektionen has been handing out new licenses at a rate of more than one a week since the new year, with no signs of a slowdown any time soon. A glance at https://www.casino.se/ shows many of Europe’s largest gambling operators among the new Swedish licence holders.

Prior to the new laws, Sweden’s gambling market was essentially a state monopoly. Unlicensed gambling operators were accepting Swedish customers, but without going through the proper legal channels. In 2018, foreign gambling sites accounted for 29% of Sweden’s $2.5 billion gambling market, up from 24% the previous year.

Sweden’s new gambling laws were designed to give the state more control over the market. The fact that 73 companies have already jumped on board shows the new laws are having their intended effect.

Swedish Gambling License Holders Must Pay Tax, Monitor Customers

Sweden’s new gambling laws impose a number of strict rules on operators. For starters, it includes a taxation component, with operators taxed at a rate of 18% of their profits from Swedish customers. The Swedish government will undoubtedly monitor tax collections particularly close this year, given the country is heading toward a budget deficit in 2019.

The new regulations outline several ways in which licence-holders must protect players from excessive gambling. For example, operators must monitor individual players and, if necessary, help them to limit the amount they bet. In addition, operators may only offer a bonus the first time a player bets on their site. They aren’t permitted to offer bonuses to repeat customers.

Under the new laws, Spelinspektionen maintains the right to request that an online operator block payments. It may also request that an online operator display a warning message on websites that aren’t approved for business in Sweden. Moreover, players themselves may be able to exclude themselves from online gambling via Spelinspektionen directly. This would save players from having to make the request from each individual licence holder.

Svenska Spel Sees Consolidation of Swedish Gambling Market

 Svenska Spel, the state-owned Swedish gambling company, will continue to operate alongside the dozens of approved private operators. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Svenska Spel CEO Patrik Hofbauer said he expects that only 5-10 of the 70+ licenced operators will survive in the long term.

“Things will fall into place in the coming one to three years,” Hofbauer told Bloomberg. “I find it hard to believe there will be 70 companies in the future, as this business is driven by volumes.”

Of course, Hofbauer has some interest in talking down private operators given his company now has to compete with them. But whether he’s right, wrong, or if the truth is somewhere in between, one thing is for sure: Sweden’s newly liberalized gambling market is here to stay.

 

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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eSports

Pringles extends ESL sponsorship for more competitions

Niji Narayan

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Pringles extends ESL sponsorship for more competitions
Photo Source: martechtoday.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Pringles, the US-based potato and wheat-based snack chips brand, has extended its sponsorship of ESL events to include eight more competitions.

The extension of Pringles’ deal will begin with IEM Katowice 2019. The other events that come under the purview of extension include ESL One Cologne, ESL One Hamburg, ESL National Championship SEE, ESL Meisterschaft Deutschland, and the German stream for the European Masters Fall Split. The snack-brand, owned by Kellogg Company, started sponsoring ESL One Hamburg in 2017.

“Pringles’ esports strategy is a prime example of agility in the light of new opportunities,” said Toan Nguyen, Executive Strategy Director and Associate Partner for Hamburg-based marketing agency Jung von Matt, which will continue supporting Pringles in its partnership with ESL. “They started small-scale in 2017 and expanded quickly over many international events in 2018. In 2019, Pringles will cover 8 events with not just Northern Europe, but also the CEE region as its new pillars! This strategy perfectly shows how brands can employ an open mindset combined with curiosity and dedication.”

In addition to logo presence, product placements, and an activation area including an esports fan edition on live competitions, Pringles’ extension with ESL will include a variety of other undisclosed activations, which were designed specifically for fans.

Dominik Schafhaupt, Kellogg Company’s Marketing Manager Snacks Northern Europe, said in a statement: “2018 was a very successful year for Pringles in Northern Europe. Especially in the field of esports we see a great development of brand perception and get very positive reactions from the community. Therefore, we decided to expand our foot print together with the ESL not only geographically but also qualitatively. At the moment we are finalizing new concepts with which we would like to address the community with even more relevant communication and activations, on-the-ground at events but also digital.”

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Industry News

Studies find links between loot box spending and problem gambling

Niji Narayan

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Studies find links between loot box spending and problem gambling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

New research has proved that there is a strong link between problematic gambling behaviours and spending money on loot boxes.

The results of the research are published in the journal PLOS One as two studies. The results indicate that people who spend more money on loot boxes are also more likely to be unable to keep their gambling habits in check.

“Loot boxes are extremely widespread. A recent analysis we did showed that they may feature in as many as 63% of mobile games. They’re extremely profitable, too: They’re estimated to have perhaps generated as much as $30 billion in revenue in 2018,” said study author David Zendle of York St. John University.

“They’re also highly worrying — there are clear parallels between loot boxes and potentially harmful activities like gambling. Given their prevalence, importance, and the lack of literature on them, I think a good question is ‘Why weren’t more people running these studies?’”

The researchers had 1172 gamers complete psychological surveys regarding problem gambling and loot box spending.

The participants all reported regularly playing at least of one of ten popular games that feature loot boxes: Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: GO, FIFA 18, Rocket League, DOTA 2, Team Fortress 2, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.

“There is a link between loot box spending and problem gambling. However, we’re not sure if this means that loot boxes literally cause problem gambling, or if it means that people who are already problem gamblers spend significantly more money on loot boxes. In either case, though, it doesn’t look socially beneficial.”

On average, the participants reported spending $19.58 on loot boxes in the past month. But some had spent up to $2300.

The study replicates the finding of previous research conducted by Zendle and published in 2018. That study, which examined 7422 gamers, found that people with more severe gambling problems tended to spend more on loot boxes.

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Latest News

Denmark unveil New Code of Conduct to protect consumers

Niji Narayan

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Denmark unveil New Code of Conduct to protect consumers
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Denmark is planning to implement a code of conduct for the gambling industry, which will improve consumer protection and contribute to preventing gambling as entertainment developing into compulsive gambling.

The new plan will be implemented after a comprehensive discussion with all stakeholders. The new code is expected to come into force on 1 July 2019.

On this basis, parties from the gambling industry have sat down and together drawn up the code of conduct for the gambling industry, which enters into force on 1 July 2019.

There are three sections of license holders who come into the purview of the code:

  1. License holders in the area of online casino and betting who come under Danish Online Gambling Association.
  2. License holders in the area of gaming machines who come under Dansk Automat Brancheforening (Danish gaming machine industry association).
  3. License holders to land-based casino who come under Dansk Kasinoforening (Danish Casino Association).

 

The code (in Danish language) can be read on this page: http://doga.squarespace.com/blog/2019/3/15/spilbranchen-lander-aftale-om-adfrdskodeks

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