In recent years, the Swedish iGaming market has undergone significant transformations, emerging as one of the most exciting and lucrative sectors in the global gambling industry.
As we step into 2023, this market continues to thrive, offering players a safe and diverse gaming environment.
In this article, we will delve into the key factors contributing to the success of the Swedish iGaming market, its regulatory landscape, and what the future holds.
Regulation and licencing
One of the cornerstones of the Swedish iGaming market’s success is its well-established regulatory framework. The introduction of the Gambling Act in 2019 laid the foundation for a structured and transparent iGaming industry.
Under this legislation, operators are required to obtain a Swedish gambling licence to offer their services in the country. The Swedish Gambling Authority, or Spelinspektionen, oversees and enforces these regulations, ensuring fair play, player protection, and responsible gaming practises.
This level of oversight has not only instilled trust in players but has also attracted reputable operators looking to comply with stringent regulations. For more information on the licencing process, read more at casino-med-svensk-licens.com
The Swedish iGaming market has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. In 2023, it continues to expand, driven by various factors.
One of the main contributors to this growth is the increasing popularity of online casinos and sports betting platforms. Swedish players now have access to a wide array of gaming options, from traditional casino games to cutting-edge sportsbook offerings.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards online gambling, with more people seeking entertainment from the safety and comfort of their homes. As a result, the demand for iGaming services surged, propelling the market to new heights.
Innovation and technology
The Swedish iGaming market has always been at the forefront of technological advancements. In 2023, we can expect to see even more innovations, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) gaming experiences.
These immersive technologies are set to revolutionise how players engage with their favourite casino games, offering a more lifelike and interactive gaming environment.
Furthermore, mobile gaming remains a key driver of growth in the Swedish market. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, players can enjoy their favourite games on the go.
Mobile apps and responsive websites have made it convenient for players to access their preferred iGaming platforms, contributing to increased revenue for operators.
As the Swedish iGaming market continues to expand, so does the emphasis on responsible gaming practises. The regulatory framework requires operators to implement stringent measures to prevent problem gambling.
This includes tools for self-exclusion, deposit limits, and time tracking features to help players stay in control of their gaming habits.
Additionally, initiatives like GamStop and Spelpaus allow players to self-exclude from all licenced operators, promoting responsible gambling behaviour.
This commitment to player well-being has been integral to the market’s success, as it fosters trust and ensures the long-term sustainability of the industry.
In 2023, the Swedish iGaming market will stand as a shining example of a well-regulated, innovative, and responsible gaming environment.
With continued growth and advancements in technology, the future looks promising for both operators and players alike.
The market’s success can be attributed to its robust regulatory framework, market growth driven by demand and innovation, and a steadfast commitment to responsible gaming practises.
Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo operator Rank Group has reported its financial results for the 12 months ended 30 June, 2023.
Group underlying like-for-like net gaming revenue (NGR) totalled £679.7m for the year, an increase of 7.3% year-on-year.
Of the total, £476.8m or 70.1% came from the operator’s land-based venues, which showed year-on-year growth of 6.1% across the portfolio.
Meanwhile, digital revenue came in at £202.9m, representing the remaining 29.9% of group revenue and demonstrating year-on-year growth of 10.4%.
Revenue across all of Rank’s digital brands was up across both the UK and Spain.
The Grosvenor Casino chain of venues continued to be the highest earning business segment for Rank, as it generated 45.1% of group revenue, or £306.3m, a year-on-year increase of 4.2%.
The Digital segment generated the next largest amount of revenue at £202.9m, up some 10%, though Rank did not provide a specific breakdown of the growth across each of its digital brands.
Mecca Bingo venues generated a further 19.7% of overall revenue at £134.1m, up 7.5% year-on-year.
Meanwhile the Enracha chain of venues in Spain generated just 5.4% of group revenue at £36.4m, but was the fastest growing business segment for Rank as it saw revenue increase 18.6% year-on-year.
Turn to loss
Despite the increases in revenue across all business areas, Rank’s underlying like-for-like operating profit fell by 52.2% to £20.3m.
That caused a year-on-year drop in the firm’s earnings per share, from 4p to 1.2p.
The drop in underlying operating profit came as the result of a variety of increased costs, including on employee salaries, energy, proprerty costs, Covid-19 support, IT costs, marketing and other inflation-related increases in expenses.
The results fell short of Rank’s expectations, said CFO Richard Harris, despite revenue increases.
Following impairment charges totalling £118.9m during the year, among other expenses, Rank declared a group operating loss of £109.8m, and a loss before taxation of £122.7m.
As a result, the group fell to a loss after tax (accounting for a tax benefit of £27.1m) of £95.3m, compared to a £64.9m profit after tax in the prior year.
iGaming NEXT has announced that its highly anticipated awards ceremony iGaming IDOL will now be a standalone event, set to take place on Thursday 26 October at the InterContinental Hotel in Malta.
This year’s event will celebrate the very best in the iGaming industry with a focus on charity, recognition, and entertainment.
The nominations for the awards will open on 6 April and close on the 3 July, with judging days taking place between 8 and 10 August. You can nominate your IDOLs here.
iGaming IDOL 2023 will recognise the contributions of both individuals and companies in various categories, with a range of exciting new awards added to the list.
The new awards include Social Responsibility Idol of the Year, Game Studio of the Year, Game of the Year, Affiliate Idol of the Year, Brand Idol of the Year, Casino Operator Idol of the Year, and Sportsbook Operator Idol of the Year.
These awards celebrate the best and most innovative companies in the industry, from those making the biggest strides in consumer protection and social responsibility to those that have demonstrated exceptional performance in the sports betting industry.
The awards ceremony will also feature the traditional awards, such as Account Manager Idol of the Year, Compliance and Regulated Markets Idol of the Year, Customer Service Idol of the Year, and more, recognising the exceptional individuals who go above and beyond in their respective fields.
iGaming NEXT event manager Gabi Jasineviciute said: “The iGaming IDOL awards celebrate excellence, innovation, and creativity in the iGaming industry. It’s an event that recognises the individuals and companies that are pushing the boundaries and making a positive impact in the industry.
“iGaming IDOL 2023 is more than just an award ceremony. The awards are a celebration of the progress and evolution of the iGaming industry, and a glimpse into its promising future.”
“The iGaming IDOL Awards provide a unique opportunity to network, share knowledge and celebrate success with like-minded individuals and companies in the industry,” she added.
The judging process is part of what makes iGaming IDOL unique. It sets the awards show apart from others that rely on nominations and panel reviews, without any personal interaction with the nominees.
The iGaming IDOL judging process allows the nominees to showcase their skills and talent, giving them the opportunity to stand out in a highly competitive industry.
The iGaming IDOL award show is open to any individual who is currently employed within the iGaming industry, meaning within any company that operates an online website offering gambling services, such as sports, casino, poker or bingo, or a supplier to the iGaming industry.
This year’s event will be sponsored by Yolo Group.
Maarja Pärt, CEO at Yolo Group, said: “iGaming IDOL is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year. It’s important to take the time to value the hard-working and creative people driving our industry forward, and doing so while enjoying a great night with friends and colleagues is even better.
“As headline sponsor of iGaming IDOL 2023, Yolo Group is proud to support what is sure to be another memorable occasion,” she added.
This year’s iGaming IDOL event promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with more categories, more nominees, and more opportunities to celebrate the very best in the iGaming industry.
The event will culminate in a fabulous after-party, making it a night to remember for all attendees.
The move to make iGaming IDOL 2023 a standalone event reflects the growing importance of the awards in recognising excellence in the industry and provides a dedicated platform for the awards to shine.
Promising to be a fantastic celebration of talent, it is set to be the best iGaming IDOL yet.
Georgia lawmakers did not pass sports betting legislation during the state’s 2023 legislative session, effectively ending any legalization hopes this year – and possibly years to come.
Though lawmakers entered 2023 with hopes the Peach State could finally legalize betting, many of the same concerns that had blocked wagering resurfaced again this year. Though Republicans spearheaded the legislative efforts, and GOP Gov. Brian Kemp supported the move, conservative, anti-gambling lawmakers remained resistant to what would be the state’s large gambling expansion since the creation of the state lottery in roughly three decades earlier.
Without enough Republican support, GOP supporters turned to Democrats to get he required votes. But Democrats opposed the wagering bill, reportedly over opposition to unrelated legislation pertaining to transgender individuals. This reflected a similar Democratic party-wide opposition following the passage off a voting restrictions bill in 2021.
The bill missed a key deadline but was revived as a part of an unrelated soap box derby recognition bill. Ultimately, the last-ditch effort didn’t even make it to the full floor for a vote.
Ballot measure concerns
Further complicating the legalization efforts was debate over the need for a constitutional amendment.
Georiga’s constitution has restrictions on casino gambling, but prominent legal analysts – including a former state Supreme Court justice – argued that did not extend to sports betting. This analysis determined sports betting only required an act of the legislature, not a constitutional amendment by voters, if placed under the purview of the lottery, which had already been approved by voters.
With 2023 hopes over, proponents in next year’s session seem like they may shift toward a push for a constitutional measure on the 2024 ballot. This move could also give political cover, as it puts the decision on to voters, instead of the legislature.
Getting there may still be difficult. A sports betting bill without the constitutional provisions requires simple majorities in both the House and Senate; a ballot measure requires two-thirds super majorities in both chambers.
If the sports betting provision reached the 2024 ballot, it appears solid odds Georiga voters would approve the provision. Six of seven states with ballot measures to approve sports betting, either independently or as part of larger casino expansion, have passed.
California, the only state to reject such a measure, had significant opposition from tribal gaming stakeholders. Though there will likely be opposition from conservative, religious and other anti-gambling groups in Georiga, there is no significant existing gambling-related organization that would oppose such an expansion in the state and polls both nationwide and locally show voter support.
If a ballot measure is approved by voters, it would mean legal sports betting would not come until 2025 at the earliest. Lawmakers could try passing a legislative solution again in 2024, meaning sports betting could come by year’s end, but this seems increasingly unlikely, especially after the failures in 2023.
Large state prohibitions continue
Georgia’s continued sports betting prohibition means four of the nation’s eight most populated states will remain without a legal wagering option.
Despite tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from many of the nation’s major sports betting operators, California voters overwhelmingly rejected an online wagering authorization ballot measure last year. California, with more than 40m residents, is far and away America’s most populated state.
Texas, No. 2 in population, seems unlikely to approve sports betting before 2024, and possibly later. Florida (N0. 3) briefly allowed wagering on the Hard Rock sportsbook app, but that was suspended as proponents await an appeal on the court decision that originally permitted the launch of the sportsbook.
Georgia is the nation’s eighth most populated state and one of the nation’s fastest-growing. Combined, California, Texas, Florida and Georgia represent nearly 30% of the US population.
Vermont lawmakers are gearing up to consider sports betting legislation during next year’s legislative session following a recommendation from state policymakers.
A nine-member panel formally recommended the state legalize mobile sports betting in a report presented earlier this week, according to a report from Seven Days, a Vermont-based media publication. The recommendation is the culmination of months of work and is the firmest step yet toward legalizing sports betting in the state.
Vermont is the last remaining Northeastern state without a legal sports betting option or that has passed a bill to do so.
Northeast sports betting market takes shape
The nation’s second-least populated state, Vermont’s push for sports betting legalization would be perhaps more notable for filling in the US sports betting map than it would be for impacting the national wagering landscape overall. More than 30 states have at least one legal retail or online betting option.
Despite the proliferation of regulated wagering in the region, Vermont lawmakers have approached sports betting more cautiously. Vermont has typically shied away from any form of legal gambling, a trend that continues with sports betting; lawmakers in the overwhelming Democratic-controlled legislature have feared gambling prays on the economically disadvantaged, a concern that continues with sports betting.
Per reports, the committee’s recommendation has tried to alleviate these concerns by prohibiting bets with credit cards as well as daily and weekly betting limits. These restrictions could help the bill pass politically, but would potentially further handicap handle potential.
The structure of the market could be even more significant.
Vermont’s neighbors have a wide range of sports betting license structures, ranging from a competitive 15-operator market to a de facto government-controlled monopoly. Lawmakers are reportedly considering a government-bid limited structure of between two-to-six operators, but it’s still too early to tell what legislators will consider.
This would seem to echo the set up of New York, the nation’s largest sports betting market by handle, which has nine operators, each of which was approved through a complex government-led bidding process. All nine operators pay 51% of gross gaming revenue without deductions for promotions, a structure that has been criticized by most of these operators and many industry stakeholders, but has nevertheless generated more per capita tax revenue than any other state.
Vermont’s eastern neighbor, New Hampshire, has a similar structure, though it has become a single-operator market thanks to a dramatic bid by DraftKings. The Boston, Massachusetts-based operator agreed to a 51% tax rate in exchange for keeping out all other operators from the state.
Rhode Island likewise has only one operator. Connecticut has three – DraftKings, FanDuel and Betrivers – which comes from a multifaceted agreement between the state’s two major gaming tribes, lottery and off-track betting facilities, among other stakeholders.
With 14 sportsbooks, Massachusetts is set to have more online sports betting operators than all other New England states combined when wagering goes live sometime next year. Maine is set to have a handful of sportsbooks, all of which will be affiliated with the state’s Native American gaming tribes, when its first mobile platforms start taking bets in 2023 or 2024.
Likely sportsbooks and next steps
With its large US market share and New England roots, DraftKings would appear to be among the leading sportsbooks to apply for a Vermont sports betting license no matter the structure. FanDuel, the US leader by gross gaming revenue, as well as other market leaders including Caesars and BetMGM would also likely pursue licensure.
No matter the structure, it is no sure bet Vermont approves sports betting.
Despite the support of Republican Gov. Phil Scott, many Democrats in the legislature reportedly remain skeptical about legal wagering. Vermont lawmakers also have to consider hundreds of other issues when the legislature convenes next year, leaving limited political oxygen for issues such as sports betting.
Vermont’s small population could also dissuade sportsbooks and other advocates from sending lobbying or other resources to Montpellier, particularly when more high-profile states such as Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Minnesota and North Carolina are all poised to consider sports betting in their upcoming respective legislative sessions.