Patrik Hofbauer, president and chief executive of Swedish lottery operator Svenska Spel, has hit out at lottery betting operators, which it said threaten the financial health of public services, and called for the country’s legislature to ban lottery betting.
Hofbauer said the lottery betting – or shadow lottery – sector posed a risk to the financial health of sports clubs and other nonprofits in Sweden by cannibalising traditional lottery revenue.
“The shadow lottery companies take market shares from the very part of the gaming market that the 2019 Gambling Act exists to preserve,” Hofbauer said.
“If [the lottery betting sector's] development continues, funding for sports associations and charities can be adversely affected. All nonprofit businesses that receive a portion of their revenue from public lotteries are affected.”
The announcement followed the release of a new report from H2 Gambling Capital, commissioned by Svenska Spel, which said that lottery betting companies account for almost 40 percent of the European online lottery market’s revenue, with its contribution estimated to come in the range of €1.25bn to €1.50bn. The vertical's revenue, H2 says, has been growing a rate of between 10% to 20% each year.
Hofbauer pointed to Denmark, a country which has banned lottery betting, as an example for Sweden to follow.
“The legislature must act soon,” he said. “In Denmark, the risk was identified early. It does not allow betting on lotteries for gaming companies seeking a Danish betting license.
“We should introduce the same ban on betting on lotteries in Sweden. It is both right and reasonable.”
Hofbauer has called for a ban on lottery betting before, including in November 2019, when he described he continued legality of the business model as “incomprehensible” and argued that it would not be permitted in other industries.