4 Reasons Why Sweden is Leading the Mobile Gambling Industry

June 1st, 2018

With some of the top gaming experts leading the way, Sweden has stepped up as a pioneer of new gaming innovations

The stats confirm it: Sweden is leading the way when it comes to mobile gambling creation. Data firm Statista has collected a number of stats and trends which show that the Swedish public have taken to mobile gaming like Vikings to water. Revenue in the ‘mobile games’ market amounts to some £79 million in 2018 so far, with an annual growth of around 8% expected between now and 2022, taking the market value to £107 million.

The numbers from Statista also confirm that one in three Swedes is an active mobile gamer and that there has been a seismic shift away from playing on traditional games consoles, with punters using their smartphones and tablets to enjoy new and exciting types of games, including online casinos.

Swedish studio King made Candy Crush, a game that made their directors millionaires, while the likes of Play ‘n Go continue to innovate in the world of slot gaming. So, what is it about Sweden and its people that is driving the growth in mobile gambling?

4. A Numbers Game

In 2010, Sweden had around 106 game development studios on their shores. Fast forward to 2014 and that number had doubled to 213, with the number of individuals working in the sector growing at a similar rate.

The country’s love of all things technological has also been a factor in the growth of online gaming. In October 2013, some 99% of all households and businesses in Sweden had access to fast broadband services, which is one of the highest internet usage rates on the planet. With fast and reliable internet at the fingertips of the vast majority of the population, it’s no wonder that Sweden is developing some of the best mobile casinos.

3. A Modern Education

Different countries tend to focus on different industries, from agriculture and manufacturing to the worlds of business and legal services. This impacts on the kind of education offered in each particular country. The people of Sweden have been able to take advantage of their national desire for innovation in technology by creating a number of focused study programmes and colleges. These have inspired a new generation of software developers and game designers.

And this is no new phenomenon. Games development was first offered as a subject choice at Gotland University in 2001, so the current raft of developers and researchers in Sweden have years of experience when it comes to creating first-class titles.

“There is a correlation between Sweden’s success in game development and its research community,” said Staffan Björk, the senior gameplay researcher at the Interactive Institute Swedish ICT. “Scandinavia as a whole is a huge centre of gaming research, so we have a very high density of game developers compared with other countries.”

2. When the Going is Good

The Swedish government has, recently, become rather more open-minded about iGaming and is looking to pass a law allowing domestic firms to easily offer mobile and desktop games to prospective punters. The proposed bill has been passed with no objections from the EU, so now the decision moves on to the country’s government. If they approve the bill, iGaming could be coming to Sweden based upon operators’ application for a license being given the green light.

There are casinos in the country which offer traditional gaming, but the move online is set to open up a world of opportunities for firms looking to expand to Scandinavia. It also hints at Sweden’s desire to wrestle back some of the dominance from Malta, who have attracted a number of Swedish brands to the country based on agreeable tax conditions.

1. Best in the Business

One of the most significant reasons for Sweden’s success in mobile gaming is also one of the most obvious: their software firms simply make industry-leading games that players enjoy. The likes of NetEnt, Play ‘n Go, Quickspin and ELK are synonymous with innovative features, sublime graphics and unique themes. It's likely that the vast majority of gamers have tried their hand at a Swedish title or two without even knowing it.

And let’s not forget about the quality of the casinos themselves. Brands like Mr Green, LeoVegas, Thrills and SuperLenny are some of the most highly regarded in the industry. Their ability to attract a worldwide audience could be to Sweden’s advantage if they allow the firms to return to domestic soil. Either way, they continue to be at the forefront of future of mobile gaming.