Betsson is given the AAA rating of MSCI
Betsson is proud to once again be awarded the highest rating, AAA, in MSCI’s ESG survey. Sustainability is important for Betsson’s operations and improvements are being made continuously. For example, Betsson is climate neutral because the company compensates for greenhouse gas emissions.
Report on socioeconomic effects of licensing of online gaming in Norway
A number of European countries have chosen to introduce a licensing scheme for gambling, including Denmark and Sweden, in recent years. In this report we present a comprehensive socio-economic analysis of the consequences of introducing such a licensing scheme for gambling in Norway. The analysis shows that a licensing scheme will be economically profitable. Opposed to a continuation of today’s exclusive rights model, a licensing scheme will provide increased revenue for socially beneficial conditions and increased government control.
What does this mean to the gaming industry, briefly?
That means a lot for the industry. We have long been waiting for a regulation of the Swedish market. Sweden is a very mature market in online games. For the gaming industry, this means that another market will be opened for licensing, which is positive. As I said, we have waited many years for this to happen, and we have been working on preparation for the application for a long time. A large part of the company has been involved, so tomorrow is a big day for us.
What does Betsson mean?
Sweden is our home planet. We are a Swedish leader in the industry, and we have been on the Swedish market for a very long time. I find it amazing that it now opens up for reorganization and license application.
What would you say is the biggest change for Betsson in 2019 in terms of reorganization?
Regarding reorganization, I do not think there will be such major changes. We will pay tax on 18% of GGR, which has a significant impact on P & L, but we have been in this market for a long time and with reorganization we will have better marketing, sponsorship and PR opportunities, which is good. But the majority of our business will continue as before, under the new regulation.
How long have you been waiting for this?
I’ve been expecting more or less since 1992, when I started in the game industry. It has been a long time since. I would say that the change came only when politicians changed and decided to open up for licenses.
Have you applied earlier?
Yes, we applied in 2006 and our application was rejected. We got a lot of explanations, which were not really good at all, but I think the reason for the refusal was that there was no political will behind at that time.
Any old stories you want to share?
Yes, at the time when we submitted our first application, I think we gave the Finains Department a lot of concerns because they understood that they could give us a license and they understood that they should give us a license, but they refused anyway. I think that the kind of activities that we applied for a license in 2006 have helped us get to the state we are today, with a regulated gaming market in Sweden.
Will we expand our business in Sweden?
We plan to have a few more employees in Sweden, most in marketing and PR, but apart from that we will continue as before.
What does a Swedish license mean to Betsson Group's office in Malta?
This means we have yet another regulated market to work with and follow up. That means we have yet another local license. But in terms of how we work practically, I do not think it will change much.
Will some roles move to Sweden or is it business as usual?
It’s business as usual. As I said, the number of employees in Sweden in marketing and PR will probably increase, but it’s about a handful of people, so there are no big changes.
How will spend on marketing change?
There is nothing we’ve communicated, but anyone can surely imagine that when a market opens up like this, and a company decides to position itself in that market, one must also get involved. We have been active for a long time in the Swedish market and have spent a lot of money here, and I think this will continue more or less as before.
Will there be any changes for the customer?
For the customer, the biggest change is that, with a locally regulated market, one should turn to the Swedish Lottery Inspectorate instead of the Maltese MGA.
When it comes to responsible gaming, how will reorganization affect the marnad and people who abuse the game?
It is difficult to say whether the new regulation will have any effect. At Betsson we have worked with responsible gaming for a very long time and we want to do our utmost in the field. In Swedish society, one is very interested in this issue, and I think we are well positioned in view of the hard and ambitious work we have put down.
What will happen to Svenska Spel in five years?
That is an interesting question. Svenska Spel will continue to carry out a large part of its operations under the monopoly, and then they will have some that they compete with us and others. The important thing for us and the industry is to ensure that they do not support their competitive activities through the part that is still protected by the monopoly. They have several thousand stores and also gaming machines and casinos. There must be a clear line between the different parts of their business, and that it is maintained is something we need to be vigilant about.
Betsson applies for a license in Sweden
Today, Betsson will apply for a license in Sweden. We asked Pontus Lindwall, CEO of Betsson AB, a few questions before the big day.