Svenska Spel should have had it easy. While under Swedish gambling laws, the company had near monopoly over lottery and gambling activities within the country. The times has changed.
The company still is in control of state gambling but its grip is softening. Just recently Sweden gambling news have been informed that Svenska Spel is not hiring people to replace retiring workers in this socialist-controlled country. The current strategy is to shrink in size by attrition.
State licenses didn’t prevent the company from losing the market share massively. In fact, the company did very little to innovate. The management apparently thought that 21st century doesn’t apply to the company. This is, indeed, the usual fate of state moguls. When the modern technology including Internet and mobile phones arrived, Svenska Spel ignored the signs.
Now, the gambling establishment woke itself up surrounded by hundreds of competitors, including many offshore casino operators, competing for Sweden’s gambling revenues. The growth of internet betting in Sweden will continue and this is the future.
This not only applies to casinos but also sports betting. Many Swedish punters love to bet, especially on competitions related to winter sports. Ice hockey betting is popular, so is biathlon, and classical skiing wagering. Those sportsbooks that can offer quality betting opportunities on these sports will gain market share and prosper on the Swedish market.
Even though the country population is tiny, below 10 million, it is a prosperous country, where a niche player can ring in some nice bets from sport loving punters. No state controlled licensing will prevent it as the story of Svenska Spel shows.
This is also a warning sign to land-based operators: innovate or die. Online betting outfits will continue to offer increasingly sophisticated platforms including those that are compatible with Android or iPad mobile betting technology.