Can responsible gambling drive revenues for operators?

Can responsible gambling drive revenues for operators?

Monday, February 15, 2016 Totally Gaming
Svenska Spel chief executive Lennart Käll has praised the company's strategy

Swedish state-owned lottery operator Svenska Spel has underlined the positive impact of its responsible gambling strategy after revealing positive financial figures for 2015.

Net gaming revenue increased by 0.2% to SEK9bn (€950m/$1.1bn) while operating income improved by 1.8% to SEK5bn. Net income also edged up by 0.9% to SEK4.8 billion and the company reported an impressive 22.6% operating margin.

The company’s performance in the final three months of 2015 was particularly encouraging, with revenue up 1.6% year-on-year to SEK2.4bn.

“In 2015, we demonstrated the strength of our strategy through responsibility,” Svenska Spel chief executive Lennart Käll said. “After an expected decline in revenue in 2014, when compulsory registration of gaming was introduced, we now see growth.

“Both revenues and earnings and profitability improved, and Svenska Spel is well prepared for the upcoming deregulation of the gaming market.” 

In September, Käll told TotallyGaming.com that he welcomed the Swedish government's new inquiry into the country’s gambling industry. Sweden’s Minister of Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi, performed a u-turn by announcing a timeframe for the study and a pathway to a new gambling regime by 2018. Shekarabi first announced an inquiry in October 2014, but in February 2015 suggested that changes were no longer on the government’s agenda.

“The current situation has been untenable for a long time which ultimately affects the consumers,” Käll said. “We are pleased to find the need for a strong consumer protection and the problem of match-fixing included in the instructions.”

Shekarabi said that the inquiry is to submit proposals for “a new gaming regulation that should aim to create a gaming market that is characterised by a high level of consumer protection, high security of the games and the clear potential to be acting in the market”.

Shekarabi added: “Harmful effects of gambling should be limited and that demand for online gambling should be channelled to the safe and controlled offerings, with the goal of not creating increased gambling.”

Earlier in 2015, Käll told TotallyGaming.com that he would like to see Swedish authorities apply existing laws to punish those companies that are illegally promoting their services ahead of the introduction of a regulated market.

Speaking at ICE Totally Gaming in London earlier this month, Silverfish CSR director Laura da Silva Gomes told TotallyGaming.com that it is in the best interests of companies to adopt responsible gambling strategies.

“Within the gambling industry, responsible gaming is one of the basics that they need to look at, and there are lots of things they can do,” she said. “Soon we will be launching an online platform that will help them to have everything available for not only complying with legislation, but also helping them at whatever stage they are at.”

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