The future of Svenska Spel’s competitive business in Sweden was one of the biggest talking points following Sweden’s long awaited report into the re-regulation of the country’s gambling market and could re-shape the entire Swedish iGaming market.
Any potential sale of Svenska Spel would lead to one of the biggest auctions in the European gaming space, with operators lining up to take on a business, which despite a declining market share, still dominates.
A more likely outcome is that the Swedish government continues to own the business in some capacity, similar to what has happened in Denmark with Danske Spil, which was split into Danske Licens Spil (sports betting, online poker and casino etc) and Danske Lotteri Spil (lotteries, bingo, scratch tickets and horse race betting game Dantoto), following the re-regulation of the Danish market in 2012.
In Denmark, however, there have been complaints about Danske Spil’s continued dominant position and question marks over how competitive the market really is.
The Swedish government will be wary of following in the footsteps of its neighbours Denmark, because its iGaming market already operates in a competitive environment, with Malta-licensed operators targeting Swedish players for years.
So the Swedish Competition Authority could have its work cut out in trying to appease private operators.
“As long as Svenska Spel remains public we’ll have the same problems as Denmark has had with Danske Spil,” warns Ola Wiklund, partner at Stockholm-based law firm Hansen Advokatbyrå. “The private operators need to put a lot of trust in the Competition Authority.”