66% of Swedes have gambled in the last year

The Swedes seems to be particularly interested in gambling and at one point the Scandinavian country was one of the most lucrative markets in the gambling industry

Although a small country, Sweden is one of the hubs of online gambling. A number of high profile casinos and software providers stem from Sweden, including Kindred, NetEnt and Evolution. These are all well-known companies with headquarters or major offices in Malta.

The Swedes seems to be particularly interested in gambling and at one point the Scandinavian country was one of the most lucrative markets in the gambling industry. A couple of years ago, the Swedish government decided to enforce strict gambling rules and regulations. Almost three years has passed since online gambling in Sweden got regulated, but it still looks like the interest among the population is sky high.

Is Swedish gambling on the rise?

While 66% might actually sound like a large proportion of players within a country, this is not actually the case. In order to look at this properly, we need to take into consideration gambling rates in previous years.

In fact, there's been a steady decline in the number of Swedes actually participating in real money gambling. Back in 2013, numbers were at an impressive 76%. But, since then, numbers have been dropping rapidly. In 2019, these numbers hit an all-time low, with just 60% of players participating.

However, with the 2020 data just in, the numbers have risen back up and are sitting at a remarkable 66%. Perhaps this could be the return of Swedish gambling. In order to see if there are any trends in this gambling fluctuation, a survey was conducted, asking players why they choose to gamble or not.

Lack of license understanding

One rather important issue arose from this new survey by the Swedish Gambling Authority. It has now come to light that the vast majority of Swedes have no idea how important a license is. In fact, a whopping 8 out of 10 said they had “probably not” played at an unlicensed casino in the last year. However, there is cause for concern here, as these players are clearly not putting the emphasis on licensing and safety when choosing to play.

This is worrying, as only 3% of the group could definitely say they had not played at an unlicensed casino. This ignorance is rather worrying and is why there has been a major re-regulation going on within Sweden. It also indicates that this type of information is still not clearly communicated to players.

Why are fewer Swedes playing?

The survey also sought to answer a number of other questions, including why gambling is slowly dropping off in Sweden. When players who had not played in over a year were asked why this was, 3 out of 10 responded that it was because they never won.

Another reason is due to the new rules regarding bonuses. A casino may only offer one casino bonus per player and license, and it can’t surpass the value of 100 SEK (about €10). Previously there was no such limit and bonuses in the range of €2000 was not uncommon. Sites such as www.bastacasinobonus.se lists casino bonuses in order to help people find the maximum amount of bonuses they legally can acquire.

On the flip side to this, it does appear that regular players are playing more often. In fact, a similar percentage of regular players, 3 out of 10, stated that they played every single week.

Reasons for playing

With so many players still playing, and the number slowly rising again, the Swedish Gambling Authority also took a quick dive into what makes these players actually play. Interestingly, there was no one stand-out reason for what made Swedes put their money into online gaming.

Instead, there were a number of reasons given. For instance, entertainment, higher probability of winning, licensing, security and size of the bet that could be placed were all listed as top reasons.

Each of these reasons had similar percentages of respondents mentioning them. However, it's important to note that a whopping 6 out of 10 players did make it a point to say they played just for fun. Interestingly though, there is still a very specific genre of games that are most commonly played.

In fact, a whopping 61% of all games played are lotteries. Interestingly, casino games, poker and slots make up the very bottom of the list at just 11%, 9% and 5%, respectively.

What does this mean for the future?

What's interesting about this survey, is that the numbers are on the rise. However, there are areas that casinos in the country need to focus on. Improving player understanding regarding the importance of security is hugely important. Casinos also need to cater for the players a little more too. This could include potentially putting more focus on lotteries and other entertainment-orientated games.