Online Betting Marketing: Lessons from Nordic Countries

Over the last few years, Scandinavia has grown to become one of the largest markets for gambling, especially in the online betting scene. In addition, Scandinavians are ranked as the happiest people in the world. How has this led to the increase in the popularity of online gaming in Nordic countries?

In Denmark, revenues in the gambling industry grew by almost 8% in the third quarter of 2021. According to Danish gambling monitors, online gambling, on the other hand, increased by more than 17%. Sweden and Denmark contribute around 59% and 54% of the total online casino players in Europe. 

The following are some of the distinct features of the Nordic gambling industry and what we can learn from its online gaming companies:

Finland

The Finnish online gaming platform is a big player in the Nordic and European online betting industry. This dominance is displayed through several factors. For instance, research indicates that the Finnish people spent more than 2 billion euros on online gaming over the past year. Various trends have been on the rise in the Finnish online betting industry.

One of these trends, ‘no account casino,’ is increasingly becoming more prevalent among Finnish players. Although many casinos allow you to play without registering, you are restricted from playing the games’ demo versions. You must create an account if you want a complete gaming experience. It allows you to play without the need to register for an account through the traditional ways. 

Looking at the bigger picture, these trends indicate that Finnish players constantly look for innovative ways to enjoy their favorite online casino games. Finnish online gaming platforms like Casino Buumi are continually working to make the market more accessible to the population. This has led to immense growth in the industry.

The Finnish online betting sector is among the largest contributor to government taxes. Because of its significant benefits to the people, Finland’s betting regulations are more relaxed. 

Denmark

The more than 28% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2021 indicates that the Danish online betting industry is in great shape. It raked in an astronomical 308 million euros in gross gaming revenues (GGR) in 2020. 

Denmark’s online gambling industry is fully regulated. It dropped its state monopoly over the industry in 2010. This move relaxed the gambling regulations, thus allowing the industry to expand and evolve.

 Interested operators can seek local licenses that would enable them to provide gambling services. However, Danske Lotteri Spil, a state-owned monopoly, manages all lotteries in Denmark. 

The casino license caters to gambling machines and card games such as baccarat, poker, roulette, blackjack, and bingo. Regarding the betting license, it only excludes virtual games from those available online since they are under a state monopoly. Therefore, there is no distinction between offline and online services regarding permits needed. 

The Danish authorities do not limit the number of licenses available. Although the licenses have a validity of five years, you can get a license valid for one year if there is limited revenue or turnover with a payout ratio of less than 20%. 

You need to have an established presence within Denmark or other countries in the EU to be eligible to apply for a permit. Fortunately, authorities simplified the application process for renewals and new licenses in early 2021. Providers are obliged to pay a tax of 28% of the monthly gross gaming revenue for all forms of gambling. 

Sweden

The Swedish online betting industry is far ahead compared to other European markets. Sweden is also a significant player in the global scene. Most of the biggest names in casino operations, supplies, and payment provisions can all trace their roots to Sweden, where they adapted to market trends much earlier. 

The online betting sector in Sweden underwent significant growth in 2020. It helped offset the losses of traditional brick-and-mortar gambling venues during the coronavirus pandemic. The total betting revenues in Sweden amounted to more than 2.4 billion euros for 2020. 

In 2019, Swedish lawmakers passed the Gambling Act and Gambling Ordinance, allowing operators to acquire betting and casino gaming permits. In contrast to other jurisdictions, Swedish bookmakers can take bets regardless of the type of event. This includes virtual events and those that are unrelated to sport. 

However, the Swedish body responsible for gambling, Spelinspektionen, has introduced new rules that have led to a less attractive market for online betting companies. These regulations include marketing limits, licensing, and compliance fees. Apart from these, casino operators are obliged to pay recurring annual fees based on the turnover and a tax of 18% of the GGR. 

Norway

Since Norway is not part of the European Union, it has more autonomy regarding enforcing state monopolies and local gambling regulations. This means that Norwegian authorities are not obliged to follow online gaming laws applicable in the EU.

The online gambling industry in Norway has been under two state monopolies since the 1990s. Norsk Tipping is responsible for lotteries, sports betting, and casino gaming. On the other hand, Norsk Rikstoto dominates the horse racing scene. 

Interested commercial operators can apply for licenses to offer limited gambling services. However, they are ineligible for a full gaming license. The strict gambling monopoly in Norway has led to increased concerns about players resorting to unlicensed operators. 

This can have a negative impact on gambling addiction control measures. However, the Norwegian Gaming Authority insists that players living in Norway can play on foreign-run online gaming platforms. 

Aland Islands

Located off Finland’s southern coast, the autonomous archipelago of Aland Islands has a monopolistic gambling industry. Alands Penningautomatforening (Paf) is responsible for traditional brick-and-mortar and online gaming operations. 

On average, it earns an annual net income of more than 20 million euros. These profits are redistributed among local non-profit bodies that help support the island’s people. 

Paf is also a key player in advocating for responsible gaming. It was among the first online casino operators to introduce loss limits for players. Additionally, it provides help to people with gambling problems.