Swedish Casinos To Close 3 Days Per Week Due To Online Competition
Sweden’s Casino Cosmopol’s three land-based casinos will close three days a week from October 1. The state-owned company Svenska Spel, parent company of Casino Cosmopol, announced this measure earlier this week. It says the decision was made partly due to competition from online gambling. Starting next week, the casinos are only open from Wednesday to Saturday.
The striking decision was published by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri. The gambling company offers three land-based casinos in Sweden under its Casino Cosmopol umbrella brand. These casino venues were open everyday, but this will change as of October 1, reducing the operational days to four days a week from next week.
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Less Days, Longer Opening Hours
Casinos in Sweden are going to close after the weekend, but will operate longer during the weekend. A spokesperson for Casino Cosmopol, Lotta Örtnäs, told the newspaper that the decision is the outcome of lower visitor numbers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. According to Örtnäs, the gambling company has adjusted its opening hours to behavioural patterns. Closing the branches on three days of the week is not the only change being made to the opening hours of the casinos. In two of the three locations, in Stockholm and Gothenburg, the casinos will remain open an hour longer on Friday and Saturday nights, which means that the branches will not close their doors at 4:00 AM, but at 5:00 AM.
“The decision was also made because this is a clear preference of the visitors: Guests enjoy late evenings and we are going to meet that need by extending our opening hours on the days we are open.”
Lotta Örtnäs, Casino Cosmopol
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Pressure From Online Competition
One of the reasons given by the gambling company for the measure is the increasing competition from online casinos. This was also referred to in the quarterly report of the second quarter of Svenska Spel. It stated that the Casino Cosmopol brand is “affected by increased competition from online games and has fewer guests than before, especially on weekdays.” In the second quarter, land-based casinos reported SEK 125 million (NZD 18.32 million) in net gaming revenue, a decrease of 13.8% compared to the same period last year. Casino Cosmopol even recorded an operating loss of SEK 52 million (NZD 7.62 million). A year earlier, the operating loss was SEK 23 million (NZD 3.36 million).
Svenska Spel was able to compensate for the disappointing results through other channels, as the casino group generated a total turnover of SEK 1.97 billion (NZD 288.47 million). This meant an overall growth of 0.2%, which was mainly thanks to the online gambling products offered by Svenska Spel. In addition to the competition from the online offering, Svenska Spel also cited the tightened measures in the field of duty of care and anti-money laundering policy as the reason for the lower turnover at Casino Cosmopol.
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