With the 2010 FIFA World Cup on and wagering at an all-time high for a sports event, online gambling law watchdog Right2Bet has been undertaking a statistical comparison of European gaming monopolies – and Svenska Spel, sole government-approved provider of online sportbooks in Sweden, is definitely at the bottom of the table.
The comparison focuses on payouts offered to punters. By shortening odds, bookmakers are forced to pay out less on winning bets. This is the disadvantage of a country having a monopoly running online gambling: Punters are more much willing to go to unapproved (an non-taxpaying) foreign-based websites with better odds.
According to Right2Bet calculations, Svenska Spel’s odds on correct match outcomes thus far are a big 31% lower than the average private operator. Svenska Spel has offered particularly unfavorable odds on draw results, offering an average line of just +245 against a market standard of +428.
Stated a Right2Bet press release: “In fact, if every match of the World Cup had been a draw so far, and you’d bet £10 each time, you would have made a mere £786 betting with Svenska Spel compared to £1370 betting with private operators. This equates to a massive increase of 74%.”
And yet, change does not seem to be coming to Swedish gambling laws. Despite the beginning of an examination of Swedish market practices by the European Court of Justice, the trend is indeed heading in the opposite direction as efforts to hamper private operators and force players to go through Svenska Spel increase – in spite of the reality of terrible prices driving players to foreign website.