The Gambling Landscape in Sweden: A Statistical Overview

Sweden’s gambling industry is on a remarkable upward trajectory, with impressive figures that underscore its significant growth. The Swedish gambling market has undergone substantial changes in recent years, fueled by evolving regulations, technological advancements, and changes in licensing, which are discussed further here, and a focus on consumer protection. This article delves into the statistics and facts that define Sweden’s flourishing gambling landscape.

Regulation for Consumer Protection

At the heart of Sweden’s gambling market is the Gambling Act, also known as Spellagen (2018:1138). This legislation places a strong emphasis on consumer protection and addressing gambling addiction, guiding the industry in a responsible direction. It encompasses three primary segments: online gambling and betting, lottery and bingo, and the state monopoly, which includes live casinos and cash machines.

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Revenue Surge

One of the most attention-grabbing data points pertains to the expansion of revenue within the sector. During the year 2022, the Swedish gambling market registered a total gross income of SEK 27 billion, signifying a notable uptick from the SEK 26 billion reported in 2021. This steady growth demonstrates the industry’s resilience and appeal to consumers.

Diverse Operator Landscape

With approximately 100 active licenses, Sweden boasts a diverse range of gambling operators, providing players with various choices and experiences. These operators contribute to the vibrancy of the market and compete to attract players while adhering to strict regulatory guidelines. An important principle in Swedish gambling regulation is that only licensed operators are allowed on the gambling market. Hence, from July 1, 2023, a permit is required for gambling software.

If there is one thing that the Swedish love to do, it is to gamble. This can be seen from the fact that the Swedish gambling market is the fifth largest in Europe. Many Swedes like to gamble, with 58.8% of the country’s gambling activity taking place online. This is the highest percentage in the whole of Europe, with Denmark coming in second with 54.6% and the United Kingdom coming in third with 45.3%.

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Taxation and State Revenue

Licensed gambling companies are subject to an 18% tax on their profits, which adds up to substantial sums. In 2021, the state’s gambling revenue, including gambling tax, dividends from Svenska Spel AB, and corporation tax, amounted to SEK 7.4 billion. This revenue plays a pivotal role in supporting various public services and initiatives.

The Swedish Gambling Authority reported that the total GGR for all licensed gambling operators in Sweden for the second quarter of 2022 totaled SEK 6.8 billion ($625 million), which is 4% higher than the 6.5 billion ($599.8 million) reported for the same period last year.

iGaming, together with online sports wagering, brought in SEK 4.20 billion ($386 million) in the second quarter of 2022, marking an increase of 2.8% in comparison to the same period last year. The Swedish lottery, which is being provided by Svenska Spel together with slot machines that are also operated by the state-owned company, contributed with revenue of SEK 1.41 billion ($129.7 billion), which was almost 1% higher than the SEK 1.40 billion ($128.8 billion) reported in the second quarter of 2021.

Consumer Participation

Swedes’ engagement with betting has been on the rise, with a notable increase in participation. In 2022, an impressive 72% of all Swedes reported engaging in gambling over the past 12 months, a significant jump from the 58% reported in 2018. This uptick in participation underscores the industry’s appeal to a wide audience.

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Casino & Sports

Revenue by Gambling Type

Horse betting is a beloved form of betting in Sweden, generating an annual surplus of around SEK 2 billion. Largely managed by the state, Lotteries also play a pivotal role in supporting the non-profit sector, contributing approximately SEK 1.6 billion annually.

Balancing Risk and Responsibility

While the industry experiences remarkable growth, it is crucial to acknowledge and address the potential risks associated with gambling. Statistics reveal that just over 4% of the population between the ages of 16-84 exhibit a risky gambling pattern. To combat this, Sweden has implemented a range of measures, including restrictions on gambling advertising, responsible gaming practices, age verification systems, and a self-exclusion system. These initiatives aim to protect consumers from the pitfalls of gambling addiction.

In conclusion, Sweden’s gaming landscape paints a picture of a thriving industry that contributes significantly to the nation’s economy while diligently focusing on consumer protection and responsible gaming. The statistics and figures showcased here reflect an evolving industry that continues to capture the interest of a growing number of Swedes. As Sweden sets an example of effective regulation and oversight, other countries may look to emulate its model to ensure a fair and secure gaming environment for all.

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