Surge in Online Gambling Traffic to Unlicensed Sites in Sweden: ATG Report
AB Trav och Galopp (ATG), a key player in Sweden’s gambling industry, has reported a significant and alarming increase in online gambling traffic to unlicensed websites since the inauguration of Sweden’s regulated online gambling market in 2019.
The report highlights a more than tenfold rise in such traffic, signaling a shift in consumer behavior and a challenge to the regulated market’s integrity.
Declining Channelisation Rates
Channelisation, the process of directing gambling traffic to licensed operators, has been decreasing in Sweden. According to ATG, the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) aims for a 90% channelisation rate, yet the actual figures in Q3 2023 ranged between 70% and 82%. These rates vary depending on the assumption of average spend per visit, with higher rates observed in sports betting (78% to 88%) and lower in online casinos (59% to 74%).
The report notes a tripling of traffic to unlicensed operators during the Covid-19 pandemic’s temporary stricter gambling rules (July 2020 to November 2021). This suggests that increased regulatory measures intended to protect citizens may have inadvertently driven gamblers towards unlicensed sites.
Infiniza Limited and Other Operators
Infiniza Limited, a Malta-based company, was identified as one of the most visited operators in Sweden, with six of the top 20 unlicensed sites under its operation. Other notable operators attracting Swedish traffic include North Point Management Ltd, Red Rhino Ltd, Brivio Ltd, BP Group Ltd, Hitz Gaming OU, Oring Ltd, Mozzart LLC, and TechSolutions Group NV. These operators collectively account for over half of the unlicensed market’s traffic in Sweden.
ATG’s CEO, Hasse Lord Skarplöth, expressed deep concern over the findings, stating that a significant percentage of problem gamblers in Sweden are linked to unlicensed gambling sites. He criticized the current regulatory framework’s ineffectiveness in curbing unlicensed operators and emphasized the need for continuous efforts to combat this issue for effective consumer protection.
Our Comment on the Article
The report by ATG sheds light on a growing concern in Sweden’s online gambling market, highlighting the substantial shift of players towards unlicensed sites. This trend, exacerbated by the pandemic and regulatory responses, poses a significant challenge to Sweden’s goal of a regulated and safe gambling environment.
The involvement of major unlicensed operators like Infiniza Limited underscores the complexity of this issue, revealing the need for a more robust and effective regulatory framework. The findings call for urgent action to address this rising problem and safeguard Swedish consumers, particularly vulnerable groups like problem gamblers, from the risks associated with unlicensed gambling.