iGB Intelligence reports iGB-Market-Monitor-May-2020-proof4 | Page 17

Part 2: Sweden –weathering the storm licensed market decreases.” What can be stated with certainty is that it is bonus availability that explains much of the attractiveness of unlicensed offerings. It should be noted here that with sports betting the impulse to use unlicensed offerings focuses not on bonusing but rather on the perception that such sites will offer better odds. Notably, however, the report does not provide any evidence that such a perception is correct. Logically, of course, unlicensed offerings could afford to offer better odds due to not paying tax. However, what is perhaps interesting is that it is the promise of better odds, rather than the reality, that might be enough to entice some consumers offshore. Search increases To add to the evidence that the channelisation rate being achieved with online casino is on the decrease, the report then cited evidence from Google search trends. Looking at four distinct search terms – gaming companies without Swedish licence, casino without licence, casino without Spelpaus and casino without Swedish licence – the report showed that the volumes of searches under these terms rose by 6.4 times over the course of 2019. All of the evidence from the report suggests that while a stated aim of the regulation of the Swedish market was to drive out the grey market, the actions taken by the regulator may be having the opposite effect. There are lessons here for the UK and other jurisdictions. The anti-gambling lobby in the UK talks a great deal about attempting to protect consumers from harm and the industry has responded with a greater emphasis on player safety. More can – and likely will – be done in areas around affordability tests and single player views. But if greater prohibitions are imposed with little thought given to how this might affect the rates of grey market play, then a greater harm will have been manufactured. It is the task of the industry to further educate those seeking greater restrictions and it is beholden on the latter to listen. Chart 3: Web searches for phrases related to unlicensed casinos 16,000 12,000 Gaming companies without Swedish licence 8,000 x 6.4 Casino without licence 4,000 0 Casino without Spelpaus Casino without Swedish licence Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Source: Ipsos consumer survey on behalf of Copenhagen Economics iGB Market Monitor • The UK and Sweden • May 2020 14