Swedish operators cut marketing budgets this summer

Viktor Vangelov | Published 7 Oct 2019, 9:07 a.m.

The Swedish market was reopened a while ago and now more than 90% of all operators that offer services in this country are licensed and punters enjoy full and complete protection. This and other issues were recently discussed by a Nordic Panel consisted of several professionals and representatives of operators and other stakeholders.

Operators are looking to improve their position on the market and many of the major players have already entered the Swedish market. At the beginning this year, Microgaming announced that they’ll introduce Swedish bespoke content.

Swedish operators with lower advertising budgets compared to last summer

With the regulation of the Swedish market came the new marketing rules that operators have to obey. It was reported that many operators cut down marketing costs in an attempt to get their work and marketing efforts in line with the new regulations. Four out of the five largest operators have decreased their marketing budgets during this summer, compared to the summer of 2018 and what’s. However, it should be noted that there was a World Cup in 2018, whereas this year there wasn’t a sports event that was that significant.

But in some cases, the decrease of the marketing budget was very large, even if we weigh in the fact that there was no World Cup this year. For instance, Cherry Ab spent 469 million Swedish krona last summer, and only about 150 million this year. Even with such a significant drop, Cherry still was the second largest gambling advertiser. Kindred Group spent the most this summer, but still less than the summer of 2018. Kindred spent 227 million this summer, while last summer’s figure was closer to 250m.

There was a one operator that actually increased the marketing spend – AB Trac Och Galopp, the only horseracing operator in Sweden. ATG spent 26 million last year, but this years figure exceeded 110 million and this is due to the fact that they launched new online casino products, so they wanted to market them accordingly.

One curious case is the Svenska Spel, the state-owned operator which used to have a market monopoly up until the beginning of this year. This company had access to a range of marketing opportunities unavailable to the private firms that have entered the market, yet they also decreased spending to 104 million, as opposed to 202 million that were spent last summer.

Paf to decrease maximum loss limit for players

While Sweden opened its market, in Finland we still have a state monopoly. Paf casino holds a monopoly in the autonomous island region Aland where Swedish is also spoken alongside Finnish. This operator announced that it will reduce the maximum amount that players can lose in a year. The maximum loss limit will go down to €25K, as opposed to €30K which is the current limit. This is just one of the responsible gambling initiatives that have been introduced by Paf.

The company CEO said that this is not an attempt to boost the company image, adding that no player should lose their house. A study conducted by Stockholm University showed that voluntary limits that players are able to set for themselves don’t work and have no effect on gambling intensity for most customers.

The new limit will see a decrease in revenue of at least 2%, or about €2 million on an annual basis.

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