Sweden’s low channelisation rates continuing to fall, says new report

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Channelisation numbers for sports betting and online casino in Sweden are as low as 80-85 per cent and 72-78 per cent, respectively, and falling, reports the country’s online gambling trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel.

Presenting the report written by independent consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics on behalf of BOS, each sectors figures, showing “a general declining development on the competitive side,” highlighted an overall channelisation rate of 81-85 per cent. 

For horse betting, lotteries and bingo the channelisation level is 95-100 per cent, with unlicensed providers said to be “very few and are poor substitutes to the established and licensed operators”. 

This follows the Swedish Gambling Authority previously publishing two estimates regarding the proportion of gambling in Sweden that takes place within the license system, states BOS. In Q2 2019 an overall estimate of 91 per cent was presented, followed by a new estimate of 85-87 per cent in November.

BOS also added doubts on the aforementioned figures presented by the Spelinspektionen due to it representing an aggregate number of several verticals, as well as suggesting that “the method may not capture the full extent the unlicensed market”.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, general secretary of the association, explained: “There is no doubt that the licensing system is under heavy pressure when it comes to the gambling verticals sports betting and online casino.

“It is irresponsible to even consider further restrictions towards the locally licensed operators in those verticals, since we know that such restrictions push the punters away from the licensed market to the unregulated illegal market with its non-existent costumer protection.

“The future for the Swedish licensing system is now determined by the authorities and the Government’s ability to abstain from further restrictions towards locally licensed operators”

This follows restrictions put forward last week by the country’s Social Security Minister Ardalan Shekarabi, including temporary weekly loss and deposit limits of SEK5,000 (€458) per week for customers as well as making it mandatory for players to set limits on playing time.

“First of all, Minister Ardalan Shekarabi must withdraw his proposed additional restrictions from last week towards licensed operators,” Hoffstedt continued

“Secondly the gambling market Inquiry headed by Anna-Lena Sörenson must abstain any suggestions on additional prohibitions regarding marketing for licensed operators. And thirdly the Swedish Gambling Authority must withdraw its suggested additional restrictions for sports betting towards licensed operators, like prohibitions on betting on friendly matches and lower divisions in football.”