Gambling Advertising Falls Across Europe

July 10, 2023
Spending on gambling advertising is decreasing across Northern Europe, even in markets without tough new rules on marketing.


Spending on gambling advertising is decreasing across Northern Europe, even in markets without tough new rules on marketing.

Gambling advertising in Sweden declined last year, falling to less than half the peak year of 2018, according to the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA).

Gross advertising spending fell to 3.4bn Swedish krona (€290m) in 2022, a drop of 15 percent from SEK4bn in 2021, the authority said on July 6.

That is far off the peak year of SEK7.3bn in 2018, the year before online gambling licensing was launched in 2019, and the lowest since 2015.

The run-up to licensing was a boom time for the gambling marketing, said Gustaf Hoffstedt of the Online Gambling Industry Association (BOS).

“There were quite a few fortune seekers on the Swedish gambling market at the time, who emptied their marketing budgets. In some cases so successfully that they managed to win important market shares,” he said.

“In other cases they later withdrew from the market,” he said.

Another factor is that so much marketing has shifted to social media, Hoffstedt said.

The statistics include only newspaper, television, radio, outdoor advertising and some forms of digital media, the regulator said.

They do not include digital advertising on social media, keyword advertising and online video, the authority said.

Elsewhere, GroupM media investment company said that a Dutch ban on most gambling advertising that took effect on July 1 may cost TV broadcasters €40m in the second half of this year, according to trade publication Adformatie.

Gambling advertising netted €65m last year for TV companies, or about 6 percent to 7 percent of their total revenue, according to Wavemaker, which contributed to the report.

The ban could mean a 2 percent decline in overall TV income, the company said.

On July 1, “untargeted” gambling advertising was banned in the Netherlands, which affected radio, print and outdoor advertising, as well as TV.

In Norway, the Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority has ordered government-owned Norsk Tipping to cut its marketing costs by at least 20 percent this year.

Atlé Hamar, the authority's director, and Henrik Nordal, gambling department director, confirmed the changes in a letter to the operator on June 30.

Hamar said there is a “completely new reality in the Norwegian gambling market” after the country removed unlicensed gambling from TV channels, leaving Norsk Tipping “almost alone in the most effective marketing channels”.

“Then the Norwegian Lottery Authority expects the monopoly operator to be ready to make major changes in a short period of time,” Hamar said.

Norsk Tipping was first notified that it would likely have to reduce its marketing in May 2023, with 20 percent floated as the lowest reduction being considered.

In a letter to the authority on June 8, Norsk Tipping explained it is aiming for a total reduction of 4.17 percent of its marketing costs from 2022 to 2023 and disputed the legality of the order.

Norsk Tipping also argued that the 20 percent reduction is too high.

However, Norsk Tipping’s arguments were rebuked in the latest letter and it now must provide feedback on how it will comply with it by August 11, 2023.

Additional reporting by Harrison Sayers.

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