Swedish Operator Supports Harmful Gambling Data Publication

State-owned operator Svenska Spel has publicly backed the publication of bookmakers harmful gambling revenue data, stating comparability is crucial.

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Svenska Spel Supports Data Publication © Pixabay.

Svenska Spel, a Swedish state-owned company, has stated it should be mandatory for Swedish-licenced operators to reveal the percentage of their revenues obtained from customers deemed to be at risk of harmful gambling. A practice already performed by Kindred Group.

Speaking in a webinar to discuss problem gambling in Sweden, Svenska Spel CEO Patrik Hofbauer and Kindred CEO Henrik Tjärnström gave their backing to the creation of a common model that operators would use to display the level of revenue which is created by at-risk or problem gamblers.

Tjärnström highlighted his company’s decision to publish its revenue percentage from at-risk gambling. While acknowledging the model may not be the perfect solution for the Swedish market, he invited researchers to suggest improvements. He added:

“We think it would be great if we got a common definition. While waiting for that and to start the discussion, we chose to start reporting our figures,”

In Kindred’s Q1 2021 operating report, the company showed a 0.4% quarterly decline in revenue generated from problem gambling. This figure equates to 3.9% of total Q1 revenue. Showing revenue numbers of £352.6m. However, kindred has pledged to reduce this figure to 0% by 2023.

Hofbauer said Svenska Spel had held discussions on revealing their dependence on problem gamblers but decided to hold off until a common reporting procedure was in place.

Adding: “Comparability is critical for credibility,” Hofbauer explained.

“Today, we see how different companies report completely different figures; there is a difference in how you measure. But I think we have great conditions to create a common model here in Sweden that could also be used by other countries.

“Swedish gaming companies have driven the digital development of the gaming industry. Now maybe we can go to the front here too,”

The chairman of Svenska Spel, Erik Strand, was also present on the webinar and added: “The dialogue about unhealthy income is very important. It is a step towards creating legitimacy for the gaming industry and legislation,” Strand said.

“The industry needs to gain the public’s trust; operators need to show that they are taking steps together to self-regulate and strengthen the protection of vulnerable customers.

“But then uniform parameters are also needed that enable comparisons. Only then do we get transparency,” Strand added.

Although Kindred’s decision to reduce their revenue obtained from problem gambling will cost them in excess of £300m per year, the company’s latest financial results show they can afford it.

Kindred reported a 41% increase in revenue in Q1, representing £352.6m. The company’s operations in regulated markets rose by 39%, representing 59% of the group total. This figure shows the strength of the company, with regulated markets being more predictable than unregulated ones.

The UK market is particularly strong for Kindred. The Unibet and 32Red brands grew by more than 100% on 2020 figures.

Sportsbook revenue increased by 49% compared to the same time last year, and with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament taking place next month, Q2 figures should also see a big uptick which will boost revenues.

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