Svenska Spel stung by casino closures in Q3

State-owned Swedish operator Svenska Spel has taken an 8 per cent blow to its year-on-year revenues in Q3, following the forced closure of casinos during the covid-19 pandemic.

The former monopoly reported net gaming revenues of SEK 1.85bn (£161.3m/$211.2m/€178.5m) for the three months to September. It also suffered a 17 per cent fall in operating profit in Q3 to SEK 531m (£46m//$60.1m/€50.6m).

The operator cited the closure of its land-based venues as the cause of the reduced revenues. Its Casino Cosmopol and Vegas slots divisions dropped by 59 per cent year-on-year to SEK 177m (£15.3m/$20m/€17m).

The operator was forced to permanently close its Sundsvall casino in August, although footfall had been gradually declining at the venue over several years and can’t be attributed to the pandemic.

The picture was less bleak in Svenska Spel’s sports betting division, with revenue rising by 6.5 per cent to SEK490m (£42.4m/$55.4m/€46.7m). This was despite the imposition of a SEK 5,000 (£429.50/$560.55m/€473.10) weekly spending cap to curb gambling harm during covid-19.

The operator reported that the return of sports betting activity offset the fall in online casino, with sports betting returning to 2019 levels over the quarter, alongside increased income from pool and fixed-odds betting.

Unsurprisingly, the share of revenue coming in from Svenska Spel’s online channels grew. In the three months to September, online accounted for 48 per cent, compared to 41 per cent from retail. The balance of the revenue came from gaming machines (10 per cent), with 1 per cent from other sources.

Svenska Spel’s lottery division Tur was responsible for the bulk of revenue, up 5.2 per cent to SEK1.18bn (£102.2m/$133.5m/€112.6m). High Eurojackpot prizes resulted in revenue for the product growing by SEK34m in Q3, with the operator’s Keno and Keno Xpress games also reporting year-on-year growth.

Svenska Spel president and CEO Patrik Hofbauer said, despite the tough operating conditions across Q3, “we have good profitability for the group as a whole, which shows strength and stability”.



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