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Sweden’s state-owned Casino Cosmopol venues are set to close for three days each week amid increasing competition from the online gambling sector.

Weekday closures

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As of 1 October, Sweden’s three land-based casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö will close on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Until then, the venues will remain open seven days a week.

In an attempt to better serve customer preferences, however, the casinos in Stockholm and Gothenburg will remain open for an extra hour on weekend nights, until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.

“The trend for guests’ visits is towards them mainly wanting to come to us in connection with the weekend,” said Lotta Örtnäs, press manager at Svenska Spel, the operator of Casino Cosmopol.

“We therefore focus on being open when our guests choose to come Wednesday to Saturday.

“The guests want to stay later in the evening, and we meet that need by extending the opening hours on the days we are open,” Örtnäs added.

Diminishing returns

In Q2 2023, Casino Cosmopol venues reported SEK125m in net gaming revenue, a reduction of 13.8% year-on-year.

That left the business unit with an operating loss of SEK52m, compared to a loss of SEK23m in the prior-year comparative period.

Meanwhile, Svenska Spel’s other business areas performed much better, as the state-owned operator generated a total of SEK1.97bn in NGR during Q2.

That gave the business an overall year-on-year growth rate of 0.2%, as the other business units managed to offset reductions at Casino Cosmopol.

“Fewer guests who play for less money in our casinos results in lower revenue,” Svenska Spel commented in its latest interim report.

The Casino Cosmopol brand is “affected by increased competition from online games and has fewer guests than before, mainly on weekdays,” the report also pointed out.

Further, revenue was impacted by “our strengthened measures at work with duty of care and against money laundering. It affects revenue negatively, but has a positive effect on healthy revenue.”

As a result, Casino Cosmopol was left facing a restructure as of the end of the Q2, with a focus on introducing measures to reduce costs, among other things.