During the opening quarter of 2020, Sweden’s gambling operator Svenska Spel reported financial results in line with the prior year, with growth in online gaming despite shutting down their casinos.
Net gaming sales for the company amounted to £162.82 million in Q1 2020, up from £166.98 million in the previous year. Online gaming rose 13% and Svenska’s accounts show that the digital sector now accounts for 41% of their sales. The Group’s profit stood at $44 million.
Covid-19’s impact did not affect the group’s results significantly, as the virus occurred at the end of the reporting period, but the sport and casino business had already taken steps to introduce reduced hours of work for 45 of its 135 employees as a cost cutting measure, and all four Casino Cosmopol casinos were closed after the Swedish government banned gatherings of over 50 people.
Redundancies and reduced hours have now impacted 800 of the 900 workers employed at the Casino Cosmopol and CC Casino Restaurang. Because of the coronavirus shutdown results, the board of Svenska Spel has also confirmed that it will not be seeking to pay a dividend.
The company has also reported that the investigation by the national regulator into the accusation that Svenska Spel had abused its dominant position had been settled.
Speaking about the results, the president and CEO at Svenska Spel, Patrik Hofbauer, said that they had worked quickly to adapt to the new realities:
“We have therefore implemented measures to ensure a sustainable business and we have done so with the utmost care about our customers and employees. Our hope is to be able to quickly switch to full operations when the situation turns around.”
Svenska Spel is the state owned company that previously held a monopoly of gambling operations in the country, but has been in competition with private sector firms since early 2019.