Svenska Spel’s Aging Lotto Customers Learn to go Online

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Swedish gambling operator Svenska Spel has had it rough in Q2 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in absence of major commercial operations.

On Monday, the state-run casino reported having generated SEK1.64b (US$183m) in revenue for April, May, and June. The said revenue is down by nearly one-fifth with the reference to that generated in the same months, last year.

The firm’s operating profit fell by 11.2% to SEK473m while the net profit slid by 18.4% to SEK340m.

The downward spiral (in revenue) began after the casino completely shut its 4 Casino Cosmopol venues following the pandemic.

While its Vegas slots business remained active, it was at a reduced capacity as most restaurants opted to close down temporarily. The two land-based units announced a 61% year-on-year revenue drop to SEK170M.

The Sport & Casino division announced a revenue drop by 37% to SEK291M, majorly due to the pandemic and the associated absence of major retail operations. According to Svenska Spel, the revenue drop began to reduce in May and business was in a way back to normal by June.

The sports revenue drop decline was also partially offset by revenue emanating from online poker, casino, and bingo games.

The leading Tur lottery division jerked the downward trend with a rise in revenue by 3% to SEK1.18b, thanks partly to a flood of Eurojackpot prizes on offer.

The casino`s revenue from online channels jumped 11 points to 46% as retail shutdown convinced many analog diehards to finally make the switch. Its mobile share jumped 8 points to 33% while desktop share jumped 2 points.

The casino pinpointed that many aging players contacted their customer service during the second quarter for hacks on how online gaming worked.

And while Q2 revenue may have been largely negative, an excellent Q1 performance and reduced marketing helped the operator manage an 11.4% rise in operating profit plus a 7.2% rise in net profits to SEK885m.

Last week, Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulator, availed a financial snapshot of the country`s online market based on its licensees’ tax filings. And while April`s revenue dropped 3% from April last, May’s total revenue was up by 6%, though only 21 out of the 53 licensees reported year-on-year improvements.

The overall gains were contributed by the state-run ATG (AB Trav och Galopp) race betting business. Note, racing continued despite the halt in sporting activities due to the pandemic, thus gamblers temporarily transferred their affections to the race tracks. Without the ATG’s contributions, May`s online market revenue would have dropped 14% year-on-year.