The game developer NetEnt will supply Svenska Spel, Sweden's state gaming operator, with a range of live dealer games in the future. The partnership also includes joint marketing strategies, and some tailor-made campaigns are already in the starting blocks. Both companies have expanded extensively in the last few months, and the cooperation could further strengthen their market positions.
Acquisition and customer loyalty insight
The game manufacturer NetEnt is the new live dealer supplier of the Swedish gaming market leader Svenska Spel. As part of the agreement, the NetEnt games Blitz Blackjack, Auto Roulette Studio, and Perfect Blackjack will be established on the online platform of the state operator (Svenska Spel Sport & Casino). Jonas Nygren, Vice President of Svenska Spel-Online Casinos, spoke of a significant step that could offer players a high level of added value.
Andres Rengifo, Director of NetEnt Live, however, emphasized the enormous growth that has resulted from the partnership. We are therefore looking forward to the cooperation, which also pursues common marketing goals. A series of campaigns, which are tailored to the newly regulated Swedish gaming market, is intended to contribute to both acquisition and customer loyalty. One is certain that the numerous customers of both companies will accept the expanded offer.
With the game developer NetEnt , Svenska Spel has brought one of the strongest draft horses in the gaming industry on board. In the first half of 2020, NetEnt saw sales growth of 30.2 percent compared to the previous year, with revenues totaling 1.04 billion dollars. NetEnt is famous worldwide for its numerous video and themed slots, including Starburst, Spinanta Grande, Mega Fortune and Hall of Gods. NetEnt is also known for music slots such as Guns N 'Roses, Motörhead and Jimi Hendrix.
NetEnt is expanding live casinos with evolution
NetEnt's live dealer offering could expand significantly in the future, as the original Swedish company is currently taking over Evolution Gaming, the global online market leader for live casino products. In June, Evolution submitted a merger offer worth the equivalent of almost 2 billion euros to the game developer. According to Evolution, the aim is to become the global market leader in the online gaming industry.
NetEnt has since accepted the offer. The provider's shareholders can exchange their shares for Evolution shares from August 14th to October 26th. This is at 79.93 Swedish kronor, which corresponds to a premium of 43 percent based on the market price before the offer was made (June 23). In a 30-day average comparison, the value is even 72 percent higher.
The merger could save costs of up to $ 30 million annually. According to Mathias Hedlund, CEO of NetEnt, the combination will also lead to greater leverage in expanding markets such as North America. This offers decisive advantages for Evolution Gaming in particular, as NetEnt already has interactive game licenses on the US market. A deal with Scientific Games was recently confirmed.
The NetEnt takeover is, however, still dependent on approval from market supervisory authorities, for example the British CMA (Competition and Markets Authority). Since it is feared that competition will be distorted due to the enormous strength of the market, the Evolution-NetEnt merger is currently being reviewed. The final phase of the process may only be initiated if the supervisory authorities issue a positive judgment. The CMA's investigation ran until October 5th, but nothing is known about the verdict.
Svenska Spel is also expanding its range
Svenska Spel is also currently expanding. Although it is a Swedish state-owned company, the operator is entering into more and more cooperation with private foreign operators to diversify its offer. Svenska Spel recently teamed up with the French Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), which enables customers to bet on horse races from all over the world.
Against this background, the new brand Svenska Spel Trotting & Gallop went live on September 21st. Features include a daily high five-game, where players can bet on the top five horses in a race. The arrangement also includes streaming rights, with Svenska Spel's customers having the option of following the live reports from PMU via the app.
The new bets thus complement an existing offer that was introduced at the beginning of 2019. However, this was only about betting on Swedish harness races. According to product manager Helena Hallman, profitable bets on classic horse races have so far been missing from the range. Customers would have asked for an expansion of the portfolio at this point. The cooperation with NetEnt ties in seamlessly with the current strategy.
Criticism of Svenska Spel because of PMU deal
Given the PMU deal, there was recently criticism from Hasse Lord Skarplöth, the chairman of the board of the former horse racing monopoly AB Trav och Galopp. This criticized Sweden's government, which is said to have failed to introduce a corresponding tax obligation for horse racing bets. They have nothing against the new competition in the market, but they are annoyed that Svenska Spel does not have to transfer any of its income to the horse racing industry.