Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has reported a 5 per cent year-on-year rise in net gambling sales to SEK 6.2bn (£526.5m/US$746.5m/€611m) for the first quarter of 2021, from SEK 5.9bn at the same point in 2020.
Using preliminary figures from the Swedish Tax Agency, the regulator found that Swedish online gaming and betting sales were up 7.7 per cent to SEK 3.9bn compared to SEK 3.65bn in Q1 2020.
However, online gaming and betting sales were down on the previous quarter. Q4 of 2020 generated record sales of SEK 4.2bn, making it the most profitable quarter for the country’s re-regulated online gambling market so far.
State lottery and slot games saw year-on-year growth, up from SEK 1.1bn in Q1 2020 to SEK 1.4bn this year. However, this again fell short of last year’s record Q4, in which state lottery and slots brought in SEK 1.5bn.
Elsewhere, land-based commercial gaming income from restaurant casino venues was down from SEK 52m in Q1 2020 to SEK 6m, while bingo fell from SEK 52m to from SEK 44m year-on-year.
The figures record the performance of the country’s 101 licensed entities, of which 71 are licensed to offer B2C betting and online gambling.
Spelinspektionen also revealed that just under 63,000 people used Spelpaus.se, the country’s self-exclusion scheme, to voluntarily suspend their gaming activities during Q1. This was a 6 per cent rise on Q1 2020. The figure has increased to around 64,000 to date.
Meanwhile, the Swedish government extended its temporary SEK 5,000 deposit cap until 14 November. It was originally introduced in July 2020 to enhance player protection during the pandemic.
The government’s protracted use of the deposit cap has already triggered calls for clarity around the restriction from Spelinspektionen.
While Gustaf Hoffstedt, chief executive of industry association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, said: “It is only the black market that has reason to rejoice at the government’s proposal for continued restrictions for Swedish-licensed gambling companies.”