A report published by Sweden's Online Gaming Industry Association (BOS) has revealed that 77% of Sweden's online gaming market is channelised, a percentage the association called “critically low”.

Sweden’s channelisation goal – the percentage of licensed gaming offerings it wishes to have on the market – is currently set at 90%.

BOS commissioned Swedish survey organisation SKOP to analyse channelisation rates for online gaming in the country, looking at specific categories such as sports betting and online casino.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general at BOS, emphasised the seriousness of the low channelisation rate.

“There is no doubt that the Swedish licensing system is in a serious situation,” said Hoffstedt. “Far too much power has been spent on the part of the state to force the licensed gambling companies to implement measures that have not been well received by gambling consumers.”

He added that reversing this development would require the regulator, Spelinspektionen, to focus on finding and shutting down unlicensed offerings on the market.

“If we are to succeed in reversing this development, a shift in mentality on the part of the state is required, from hunting, fining and limiting the range of games for licensed gambling companies to hunting the unlicensed ones instead,” he continued.

Survey results

SKOP interviewed 9,850 individuals for the survey. From this, 3,000 of them were found to have taken part in gambling activities at least once per quarter.

The survey was conducted between 22 February and 21 March 2023.

To determine the channelisation rate, SKOP asked participants the last time they had participated in online gambling and how much they had bet at the time. This was followed up by SKOP asking the participants whether they knew if the website had a Swedish licence.

This concerned all types of online gambling.

A total of 77% of participants said they knew the website was licensed. However, 11% said they knew the site they had bet with was not licensed. In addition, 12% said they didn’t know whether the website had a licence or not.

The survey also revealed that that lotteries have the highest channelisation rate, at 91%. Both online casino and poker have channelisation rates of 72%.

Betting on harness racing has an 89% channelisation rate, while sports betting sits at 84%.

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