First Casino Cosmopol is gone
Svenska Spel has announced that it will be permanently closing its flagship land-based Casino Cosmopol in Sundsvall because of a decrease in customers and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
fighting a constant battle to be profitable over the last decade
Svenska Spel, the former monopoly gambling operator in the country, said that 68 people will lose their jobs because of the closure. The property has been fighting a constant battle to be profitable over the last decade; the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin.
Dealing with the closure
Casinos across Sweden remain closed as a result of the pandemic, having shut their doors on March 29. Of the 900 staff at land-based casinos, 800 of them are furloughed. Authorities have yet to set a reopening date.
Svenska Spel does not plan to permanently close its casinos in Stockholm, Malmö, or Gothenburg. The workers at the Sundsvall property will be given the opportunity to transition over to one of the other properties.
it is unfortunately not commercially defensible to continue to run the business.”
Svenska Spel CEO Patrik Hofbauer spoke about the decision to close the casino as difficult but necessary: “With a constantly declining customer base, the casino in Sundsvall is no longer profitable and then it is unfortunately not commercially defensible to continue to run the business.”
Svenska Spel’s situation
Svenska Spel’s overall net gaming revenue in Q2 was SEK1.643bn ($190m), a year-on-year drop of 19%. Operating profit fell SEK60m ($6.9m). In Q2 2020, revenue from all Casino Cosmopol locations dropped by 60% year-on-year to SEK170m ($19.54m).
These weakened figures were mainly attributed to the lack of sporting events for sports bettors and the closure of land-based casinos. Another reason for falling land-based revenues is the continuing transition to online gaming and stricter market regulations.
Changing times in Sweden
Sweden’s online sports betting and casino sector was opened up to competition for the first time on January 1, 2019. While many major operators have licenses in the country, there have been issues along the way.
Most recently, the Swedish government implemented extensive new restrictions on online gambling. This includes a temporary weekly limit on deposits of SEK5,000 ($574.87) and a bonus cap of SEK100 ($11.50). Industry CEOs and Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen have spoken out against these measures.