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ATG urges banks to combat Sweden’s “worrying channelisation rate”

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The Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG), channelisation report shows that channelisation rates continue to worsen in Sweden.

ATG’s Report estimated that channelisation rates in Sweden for Q4 gaming were between 69% and 82%. The Swedish government has set a target for channelisation of 90 percent to licensed operators.

Since the third quarter 2023, channelisation has decreased. ATG is not optimistic about the future.

ATG discovered that visitor traffic for unlicensed operators increased by tenfold between 2019 and now. ATG found that visitor traffic to unlicensed operators has increased tenfold since 2019.

The report also states that none of the black-market websites included on its list were banned by the Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen.

Hasse Skarploth, ATG’s chief executive officer said: “It is an extremely worrying development. Our investigation shows there are still more things that can be done to prevent unlicensed firms from operating.” Unlicensed gambling poses the greatest threat to Sweden’s gambling market, and especially the most vulnerable group of people with gambling addiction.

ATG asks for help from Swedish banks

Players in Sweden can still use their bank accounts for deposits and withdrawals to black market bets

Seven of the twenty unlicensed websites with the highest traffic in Q4 offered direct withdrawal and deposit from a Swedish account. The identity verification service BankID can be used by black market participants with the payments company Krofort.

Skarploth called on banks to stop such transactions and instead drive them toward the legal market.

Skarploth stated that “in light of our findings, it’s absurd” for the Swedish Gambling Authority to impose strict anti-money laundering regulations on licensed companies in the United States while simultaneously monitoring unlicensed companies.

Europe’s Black-Market Problem

Germany and France struggle with the blackmarket, while some European countries are excellent at channelisation.

In 2023, a study by the University of Leipzig revealed that more than half of online gambling takes place in Germany with non-licensed operators.

According to the research, three quarters of all online revenues in Germany are generated on the black market. This results in hundreds of millions euros of tax revenue being missed.

In October it was reported that the German licensed operators were under greater pressure than ever from the blackmarket.

The French gambling regulator, l’Autorite Nationale des Jeux, estimated that the illicit gambling market could be as high as EUR1.5bn (1.28bn PS/$1.62bn). The illegal gambling market in France is estimated to be worth up to EUR1.5bn (PS1.28bn/$1.62bn) by the nation’s gambling regulator, l’Autorite Nationale des Jeux (ANJ).

PwC’s study estimated that the total gaming revenues generated illegally ranged between EUR748m to EUR1.5bn. The illegal gambling sector would account for 5% to 11% of France’s total gaming market. This was valued at a record EUR12.9bn by 2022.

ATG Records Rise in FY2023 Net Profit

Despite the concerns over channelisation rates in Sweden, ATG reported a 7.5% year-on-year rise in net profits to SEK1.45bn (PS111.2m/EUR129.9m/$140.9m) for its 2023 financial year.

Net gaming revenues increased by 0.9%, to SEK5,27bn.

Skarploth stated, “I am proud of my 2023 numbers.” ATG had a growth rate when the gambling market was at zero or plus one.

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