Sweden's state gambling monopoly Svenska Spel has reported weaker online poker revenues in FY 2008, and declining group profit in the first quarter of 2009.
Poker revenues fell 3.6 percent to SEK 372 million (Euro 34.6 million) in 2008 from SEK 385 million in 2007, the monopoly revealed in its annual report. The company attributed the decline to less interest in Internet poker, reporting:
“Both Svenskaspel.se and the casinos offer poker games. The casinos arranged a number of popular poker tournaments in 2008 and poker interest in casinos continues to increase. The internet boom of the four last years has subsided, but the game is still popular on svenskaspel.se,” the company reported.
Online poker operators need not necessarily be discouraged by the general remarks concerning the online poker industry; Svenska Spel can only speak for its own involvement, and it is widely accepted that many Scandinavian online poker players are active at poker websites elsewhere on the Internet, something the monopoly would like to constrain.
Other key performance indicators from the report are:
* GGR up at SEK 22 800 million (FY 2007: SEK 21 716 million)
* NGR up at SEK 9 804 million (FY 2007: 9 598 million)
* Operation Margin down at 21.9 percent (FY 2007: 23.2 percent)
* Profit down at SEK 5 108 million (FY 2007: SEK 5 247 million)
* Headcount up at 1 720 (2007: 1 588)
Q.1 2009 group after-tax profit figures also showed a decline of SEK 133 million at SEK 1 238 million when compared with Q1:2008 numbers. The new CEO at Svenska Spel, Meta Persdottir, attributed the lower figures to recessionary elements and tougher competition.