How was the Swedish online casino market affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on almost every single industry, whether it has caused just some minor setbacks or large scale losses. Some of these problems are to be expected and do not come as a shock to most people, but many other sectors were surprised to see just how negatively the pandemic affected them.
One of those industries in the Swedish online casino market. It’s quite obvious that the pandemic has had a very real and substantial effect on it. There is a lot to take in and even more to look at when analysing just why this all happened.
Online gambling is just another way to pass the time in Sweden. People usually see it as a recreational activity, which can cause many of us to think that it would thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. People have been gathering less and engaging in less social activities in general, so it would make sense to turn to solitary activities at home, such as online gambling. Alas, statistics prove that that is not the case when it comes to the Swedish market, who has taken a massive hit during the last few months.
Sweden’s Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) has released some interesting new data which shows that online gambling rates in the country have been decreasing since the outbreak first started earlier in 2020.
During the months of April and March, it was revealed that the gaming turnover and overall betting rates were down 5.9 per cent and 5.4 per cent compared to the same time in 2019. That may not look like a huge drop, but the rate had actually increased significantly in the months of January and February of 2020. It was actually sports betting that really brought the market numbers down, since casino play had in fact increased, but not enough to make up for the loss in sports betting.
The reason behind such a massive drop in sports betting is actually really obvious. Looking back to March, most sporting events were cancelled all around the world. A decline in sports betting wasn’t only unique to Sweden, it was actually something markets all over the world were experiencing. 2020 has been horrible from a profit standpoint for companies that relied heavily on sports betting.
Online casinos, on the other hand, thrived this year. While still under the umbrella of online gambling, unlike sports betting, casino-style games don’t require any live action sports. Another issue happened when the online casino industry implemented restrictions of a new weekly deposit limit for players. There was also a cap that was placed on the bonus offers. These rules were actually implemented in order to “limit the harm” that online gambling could possibly cause with people getting bored at home and looking for entertainment.
The solution for this was for players to use internationally licensed online casinos so that they wouldn’t be confronted with limits.
In the meantime, the online casino industry has been working hard to not only draw in new players but also keep other players entertained by adding a vast amount of new games and constantly updating them. The idea is that players can experience new games as often as they like without ever feeling bored.