Mr Green Enjoying the Ride

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Mr Green has released figures for the first quarter of 2018, with year-on-year revenues up by 38%.

Total revenue for the self-styled “gentleman among online casino operators” reached $43.75m (£32m) for the first three months, up from $23 ($17) in the same period of 2017 and well ahead of the company’s 20% growth target. Customer growth was up by 53.7%, and deposits increased by just over 40%, with a strong performance from the launch of the company’s Live Beyond Live casino, and the launch of its services in Denmark last year.

Commenting on the figures, Per Norman, CEO of Mr Green’s parent company, said: “We have a unique, competitive customer offering and see a continued favorable outlook. The second quarter started strongly. We have a robust financial position, with scope for additional acquisitions.”

The company was founded in 2007. Originally based in Stockholm and now headquartered in Sliema, Malta, it is going back to its roots – and presumably expecting to further boost those impressive growth figures – by offering its Swedish customers the option to create an account simply by using their BankID.

Simple sign in

Anyone signing in through BankID – the leading electronic identification in Sweden with 6.5 million active users – and depositing through a bank transfer will be able to use Express Withdrawal, which will mean withdrawals reach a customer’s account within five minutes. Most customers will see that as a welcome – and long overdue – development. I struggle to understand how a sports betting company takes three to five days to send money to me when my deposit reaches them instantly if I want to place a bet.

This comes as Sweden heads towards new, more liberal gambling regulation. Mr Green CEO Jesper Karrbrink welcomed this, saying: “From what we know of the Swedish regulation, this method will be fully compliant, providing an electronic means for account validation.”

Clearly, it is a move to attract a younger, more tech-savvy demographic – admittedly the demographic which all the sports betting operators are looking to attract, but one which seems to sit well with Mr Green’s brand, with Karrbrink seemingly committed to more and more innovation. Last year he complained that “the gambling industry is innovating too little”.

New regulations same old problems?

The new regulations – which will come into force in Sweden on August 1 – will see online operators able to offer bingo, virtual slot machines, dice and card games, and roulette. In addition, there will be no restrictions on sports betting (with the exception of cantering and Swedish trotting races), although operators will naturally be required to monitor customers’ gambling activity and impose any restrictions they see fit in order to deter problem gambling.

As we have written recently, there is going to be a clash between the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is due to come into force on May 25. Despite the new laws liberalizing gambling in Sweden to a significant degree, operators will still need to guard against money laundering, match-fixing, and problem gambling. Like sports betting companies everywhere, Mr Green will need to retain data in order to do this – whilst the EU’s GDPR legislation specifically gives customers “the right to be forgotten”.

Sooner or later these two conflicting requirements will clash head-on – for now, though, Mr Green is enjoying the ride, with profits increasing and a World Cup to look forward to…