Surge of new licenses & questionable Marketing tactics in Sweden

15 Mar 2019

new-licenses-swedenSince the last update on its legislative framework in January 2018, Sweden has been making great steps towards creating a regulated gambling environment only comprising licensed operators. This has led to the issuance of 116 new licenses by Spelinspektionen so far, with the regulator constantly processing new applicants. 62 of those licenses have gone towards online casino operators, while the remaining ones are related to sportsbook and land-based casino products.

The Swedish regulator also announced that many companies have gone after more than one type of license, intending to provide their services to both betting and casino fans. Specifically, those 116 licenses have been acquired by only 72 applicants, proving that brands are trying to lay hands on as diverse a player base as possible.

Sheer competition among companies in the region has pushed many brands to resort to quite questionable Marketing tactics to get a more significant share of the market. Many advertising campaigns in post-regulated Sweden have been characterised as borderline aggressive, implementing various Guerrilla Marketing strategies. This recently observed phenomenon led Minister for Civil Affairs, Ardalan Shekarabi, to publicly warn casino brands in February against utilising such methods, most probably implying that the government will take action if they don't conform.

There have been estimates of Spelinspektionen applying strict advertising restrictions, similar to the ones implemented in the UK and Italy that might even extend to the type of ads shown during live sports events. While in the case of Italy many people argue that the tight advertising framework will produce the opposite results than those expected, it remains to be seen what all that will translate to in the Swedish territory. The main question is if a balance will be retained that will enable companies, the regulator and players to have a harmonious and upheaval-free relationship.

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