Sweden’s Pathological Gamers Are Mostly Women

  • Women in Sweden constitute the majority of pathological gambling addicts
  • The number of people at risk from developing gambling addiction has fallen
  • Authorities demand more moderate advertisement efforts

Sweden’s gambling industry has exploded and amid the new gambling options’ arrival there has been interesting data trickling in about the rate of gambling participate and more specifically gambling addiction. As it turns out, women are more prone to gambling addiction than men.

In Sweden, Women Are More Likely to Be Gambling Addicts

Sweden has enjoyed an almost unchanged rate of gambling participation in 2018, but a new, and potentially worrying trend has emerged – the number of Swedish gambling addicts has risen and the main group to show signs of addiction has been women.

The county’s health authority, the Folkhalsomyndigheten, has published the results of a comprehensive study looking into the gambling habits of the nation in the pre-legalized market in 2018. More than 5,000 participants have been interviewed in the institution’s survey.

Sweden’ Regulator Releases 2018 Gaming Survey

The results revealed that 58% of all participants have exercised some form of real money gambling, ranging from casinos, to scratch cards, to other. When scaled for the broader public, the results of the survey established that estimated 225,000 people were at a serious risk of developing gambling addiction or at least a problematic gaming behavior.

60% of all pathological gambling addicts in Sweden are women, a new survey commissioned by the Folkhalsomyndigheten has found out.

Despite a potential increase in the number of actual addicts, the results were much better in terms of how many people are at actual risk of becoming addicts. For example, in 2015, Sweden had around 332,000 people who were close to crossing the thin red line.

Again, in 2015 there were 134,000 problem gamblers and their number was 101,000 in 2018, but the problem was insofar as the really bad cases of addiction lied. Pathological gamblers increased to 45,000 in 2018, which was a very significant uptick from 2015, 31,000. Of those, estimated 60% were women, which surpasses previous estimate that men tended to be more vulnerable to the practice.

The Reasons Behind Sweden’s Increasing Gambling Addiction

Sweden has long been a no-man’s land when it comes to gambling. Some experts have hurried up to blame the latest figures on the expanding gambling network in the country, but this wasn’t the case until January, 2019 when your correspondent was in Malmo and saw the official launch of the industry.

The warnings about the rising number of pathological gamers hasn’t fallen on deaf years, with Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi vowing to act against the aggressive iGaming adds that have been appearing on television.

Companies have already been warned that they will have to observe fair advertising practice or risk getting their licenses suspended – something that Sweden is serious about and prepared to enact without delays.

However, there has still been some uncertainty about the exact meaning of what a less aggressive advertisement means. Authorities have called for moderation, but nobody has really pin-pointed what a moderate amount of advertisement is.

In a market that is in a constant competition for players, it’s unlikely that businesses will be able to sort it out between themselves.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

LeoVegas expands with Pixel.bet in the Nordic Countries

Amid the growing Swedish sports betting market, Leo Vegas has decided to expand into an unlikely segment – betting on competitive video gaming or esports.

LeoVegas, Pixel.bet and Sweden’s Promising Market

After acquiring a controlling stake in Pixel.bet, LeoVegas is finally rolling out its esports book in earnest. The newly-licensed Swedish market is the perfect moment for the company to launch competitive video gaming betting.

With a successfully acquired permit from Spelinspektionen, the national regulator, Pixel.bet is arriving in one of the most esports-friendly countries and home of the DreamHack festival.

EveryMatrix Expands Offer with New Esports Markets

Pixel.bet is also planning for the long-term, having cut a five-year licensing deal with the regulator. The offer launched today, on February 26, with the majority of the offer focusing on esports, a still very young segment.

There are inherent challenges to this segment of the industry as well, so following Pixel.bet’s ambitious progress would be like a weathervane for other operators.

Esports Betting and the Challenges Ahead

Esports betting has been growing since 2013. Though the segment wasn’t explored until later on when Betway and Pinnacle entered the market with modest offer, 2018 has been particularly generous for the industry.

At the end of 2017, only 5% bookmakers had registered a profit out of introducing esports. With conventional tactics failing with esports fans, who have turned out to be much smarter and better informed about odds and the winning probabilities, the best companies have been adapting their offers.

Pixel.bet is the result of the rapid expansion of the segment. LeoVegas now holds 51% in the company and they don’t intend to attempt any of the known techniques that have worked for mainstream sports.

There’s no need for bonuses, for example, as esports fans tend to get capricious with anything that may appear to be too complicated or even fraudulent.

Another great boon to Pixel.bet’s offer in Sweden is that esports fans won’t have to undergo the traditional KYC process if they opt for the Pay & Play payment option, which will additionally slash time for everyone.

A Nordic Beginning

Pixel.bet will be focusing primarily on Nordic markets as they tend to be some of the richest, both in terms of purchasing power among the customers there and the fact that all youths play video games in one form or another, although not necessarily esports.

Pixel Digital CEO, Eirik Kristiansen had the following to say commenting on the latest developments:

With this licence we gain the opportunity to offer our product and passion for esports betting to the Swedish market. Moreover, we have added a truly exciting casino experience that we know customers will appreciate.

This springboard in Sweden will also position us for continued expansion internationally.

Meanwhile, LeoVegas’ won top brass has seen reason to invest in Pixel.bet, citing “economies of scale” as one of the main factors for advancing in the company.”

During a year when we focus on strong growth but also on cost efficiency, it is inspiring to see that Pixel.bet are developing well and that we as a group, ” LeoVegas Group CEO Gustaf Hagman said.

Pixel.bet is also a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC), a body that focuses on uprooting match-fixing in esports contests.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Sweden’ Regulator Releases 2018 Gaming Survey

  • Spelinspektionen releases comprehensive gambling study for 2018
  • Number of gamers in Sweden remains unchanged at rate of participation of 66%
  • Gaming still takes place predominantly at land-based venue
  • Over half of gamers not aware about self-exclusion schemes

Sweden’s gaming regulatory body, the Spelinspektionen, has released an annual survey analysing the country’s gaming habits in 2018.

Sweden’s Regulatory Gaming Survey for 2018

On Friday, January 11, the Spelinspektionen (the newly re-branded watchdog in Sweden) released a comprehensive annual study looking into the gaming and betting habits of Swedes. Based on the survey, estimated 66% of the population placed a wager in some form throughout 2018.

The numbers kept steady from a year before when it was established that a similar number of participants had placed a wager. The numbers in both last years are still lower than the 76% participation rate, and the numbers have been mostly falling since 2013. However, with 66% of the population engaging in lottery activities in one form or another, the market is a fresh opportunity for many operators.

MRG and Bethard Ready to Grow in Swedish Market

In fact, as many as 60 companies have secured a license from the regulator and are now either offering or in the process of developing their gaming portfolios in the country. The survey also focused on the present looking into January’s results, asking participants if they had gambled in the past week.

Swedish Gaming Self-Exclusion and Popular Verticals

Estimated 34% said that they had placed a wager, although there was also an increase in the number of players who said that they had not gambled in the slightest – 16%. There were other interesting metrics emerging from the survey, such as how trustworthy are gambling operations according to public (with some people 22% saying not at all).

There were also those who said that the current gambling products were boring to begin with (17%). This explains why NetEnt, one of the main iGaming software developers, have decided to let some staff go in order to focus on game creation. Most iGaming studios have focused on creating a more authentic gaming experience, which is increasingly beginning to resemble video games.

Interestingly enough, engagement with land-based properties was at 57% (most likely because of the lack of online alternatives) whereas 17% chose to go online. These numbers are likely to even out or reverse completely in 2019.

There’s been a marked increase in Smart TV gambling with the activity reaching 5% of the total. Gambling advertisement is very common on Swedish television. There were also 14% of activities that were lumped together in “other ways,” without any specification of what the activities were in the first place.

Swedes seems to be very sober in their gambling choices and practices, with only 3% of all interviewed persons admitting that they overdid gambling in the week leading up to the interview. Still, there is a big knowledge gap when it comes to self-exclusion schemes, with 52% of people not even aware of the existence of the option.

Carmen Thompson

Carmen is our residential reporter always on the move and hunting down the latest scoops and rumours to explore. Nothing gets past her keen nose, especially when it comes to some serious Jelly Bean poker tournaments.

MRG and Bethard Ready to Grow in Swedish Market

A total of 21 companies have obtained a Swedish license in anticipation of the full regulation of the iGaming industry. Swedish brands MRG and Bethard have become the latest companies to procure the desired benchmark and join the fraternity of companies ready to launch their operations as early as January 1, 2019.

MRG and Bethard Obtain iGaming Licenses

The Swedish iGaming company MRG has just procured licenses to kickstart online casinos in its home country, with Mr. Green and Evoke Gaming rolling-out the full offer, acting as subsidiaries for the company.

As a result, a number of websites will become operational as early as January, including Mr. Green, Redbet, Vinnarum, Bertil and MamaMiaBingo, with the company clearly diversifying its efforts as early on as it can.

In the official press release, MRG CEO Per Norman expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments, noting that his company was looking forward to provide Swedish gamers with a product that is truly superior.

We are especially happy about the strong emphasis on responsible gaming in the Swedish regulation since Green Gaming has been part of our strategy since the start of the company 10 years ago. – MRG CEO Per Norman

MRG also operates in 13 separate markets, offering highly-polished iGaming products through its subsidiaries. Bethard alone, owns 16 flagship brands and licensed websites, considerably boosting the positions of the company in the sector.

In their own official statement, Bethard cited the company’s founder and executive Erik Skarp who also welcomed the newly-presented opportunity, cheering at the prospect of bringing the company’s products to Sweden.

Sweden is, for many reasons, a very dear market to us and I am personally looking forward to show what we can do in terms of responsible gaming on our home market. Bethard founder Erik Skarp

According to Mr. Skarp, the goal of Bethard is to “be a truly responsible gaming company” and to consolidate its footprint across new and existing markets. With the latest additions of casinos, Sweden now faces 21 licensed companies awaiting to enter the market at the turn of the year.

More Operators Arrive in Sweden

While the MRG’s licensing deals are important, they are far from the only companies to break into the Swedish market. Svenska Spel will be re-emerging in the freshly-regulated market on January 1, hoping to get a head-start on the many other that will follow.

Meanwhile, Bethard has reaffirmed its intentions to stay vigilant of new marketing prospects, including in Germany, where the company has been gaining ground.

Bethard is also planning a move on the Irish market, although the company openly suggests that the newly-proposed Irish tax is a reason for concern. However, the Irish government is likely to go back on the proposed sports betting tax hike, which would boost the amount collected to 2%.

Sweden will have a lot of hard work to do, with the country guaranteeing the safety of consumers and keeping nefarious third-parties at bay. The country’s re-branded Lotteriinspektionen regulator will take care of enacting all new measures.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.