Svenska Spel striving for responsible gambling unity after ‘tumultuous year’

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Svenska Spel has called for industry wide unity to capture an “opportunity to regain consumer confidence,” as the firm ends the most tumultuous year in the history of the group.

Following re-regulation of the firm’s home market, Svenska Spel asserts that it continues to develop positively across all core segments, despite revenue, as expected, not being at the level sought. The company states that this is a result of fierce competition and increased efforts in responsible gaming.

Regarding the latter Patrik Hofbauer, president and CEO of Svenska Spel, explained: “In 2020, I hope that together in the industry we can agree on a definition of problem gambling and sound revenue. This is necessary to create greater transparency and a more sustainable industry. 

“It is also an important prerequisite for being able to meet our long-term challenge, to strengthen Svenska Spel’s position as the company with the best reputation in the gaming market. We have the opportunity to regain consumer confidence, but we must do it together as an industry in order for us to succeed.”

Net gaming revenue for the fourth quarter came in at SEK 2.47bn, a four per cent increase from SEK 2.39bn, however a decrease of two per cent was felt on a full year basis from $8.78bn to $8.57bn. 

Profit for the fourth quarter and full year fell 45.7 per cent and 39.9 per cent, respectively, to SEK 667m (2018: SEK 1.23bn) and SEK 2.71bn (2018: SEK 4.52bn), primarily driven by gaming tax introduced in the re-regulated market.

Digital increases continued to be a mainstay for Svenska Spel however, with an eight per cent quarterly increase seeing the segment now account for 34 per cent of group revenue.

Hofbauer added: “The Swedish gaming market as a whole has had a negative growth in 2019. Our result for the quarter is therefore in line with expectations even though the ambition ahead is higher. 

“The most important thing during the year has been to stabilise the business after the major transition to a new gaming market, which we have now done, which means that we are well equipped for the future. We are entering the new year with an aggressive focus going forward, but with continued concern for our customers.”

The group has also revealed that Switzerland is to become the fourth country to utilise Playscan, Svenska Spel’s tool for identifying and communicating with risk players. 

Following agreements with the Norwegian gaming company Norsk TippingLa Française des Jeux in France and Swedish Lotto, the Swiss Société de la Loterie de la Suisse Romande has now also gone live with the system.