Svenska Spel, operator of the Swedish National Lottery, revealed that its focus on creating a more sustainable gaming platform for its players has negatively impacted its bottom line during Q2.
Increasing demands for responsible gambling measures saw the operator invest more funds into implementing technology to keep players safe, leading to an ‘expected’ earning and operating margin decrease.
Publishing its interim report Q2, Svenska Spel noted that the three-month period ending June 30 saw net gaming revenues of SEK1.97bn, up 1% year-on-year. Despite this slight increase, the elevated investment saw the operating profit drop by 7% to SEK 531m.
Further highlighting weakened profitability, the group’s operating margin decreased to 27%, down 3% YoY.
“We see a positive development in the share of healthy income as a result of our strengthened gaming responsibility measures,” commented Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel.
“We continue to provide our customers with entertaining gaming experiences in a responsible way, as we want gaming to be a joy for everyone.”
The Tur lottery business division saw stagnant revenues during Q2 despite a ‘successful’ launch of two Eurojackpot draws per week and the Eurojackpot reaching its highest ever record for online gaming.
However, for H1, covering the first six months of 2022, the lottery division saw revenues drop by 3% YoY as it did not successfully meet its sales target over the holiday period at the beginning of the year. Despite the decline, lottery ticket sales amounted to 61% of all sales for the period.
Breaking down the H1 lottery performance, Svenska Spel noted: “The Tur business area reported SEK2.3bn in net gaming revenues, a decrease by SEK77m or 3%.
“The comparison is explained, among other things, by the fact that we did not manage to meet last year’s sales of tickets in connection with holidays.”
Looking towards the group’s wider H1 performance, net gaming revenues stood at SEK3.9bn, down 1% YoY, due to pandemic-related disturbances at the beginning of 2022 due to the Omicron variant plus new deposit limits being imposed on players.
Operating profit also saw a small decline of 4%, down to SEK 1.1bn, leaving the group with a profit of SEK 892m, also down 4%.
As well as focusing on player protection, the group has also focused on equality in sports; it has presented and sponsored the launch of Sweden’s first women’s national team in CS:GO, which its states is a ‘step towards a more equal sports movement’.
Finally, it agreed a new deal with Svenska Spel’s independent research council to continue research into gambling addictions in Sweden for the next five years.