An ongoing structural change from land-based gaming to online has allowed LeoVegas to counter the far-reaching effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, but within its home market of Sweden, the operator exercised caution over the turbulent regulatory environment.
The operator lauded its ability to ‘quickly adapt to new, external circumstances’ such as the pandemic and changing regulatory conditions across its different operating markets when publishing its Q3 results for the period 1 July to 30 September.
LeoVegas noted that the number of customer deposits increased by 26 percent, growing from 347,464 in 2019 to 438,691 in Q3 2020, which LeoVegas attributed to its company’s ‘solid development.’
Gustaf Hagman, President and CEO of LeoVegas, commenting on the quarter’s trading, said: “During the third quarter we maintained a high pace of innovation and investment, which is strengthening our long-term position and growth prospects.
“During the quarter our customer base again reached a new record level. The number of depositing customers grew 26% compared with the same period a year ago, which confirms the strong development of our business.
“This is partly attributable to the ongoing structural shift from land-based gaming to online, but above all to our focus on creating the best product and experience for our customers.”
The Casino division of the operator accounted for 77 percent of the Group’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), 16 percent of GGR was generated by Live Casino, while 7 percent accounted for the sportsbook. For LeoVegas’ sportsbook activities, the figures reflect a marked change that was largely driven by a ‘increase in sporting events during the time’.
Revenue rose by 1 percent from EUR 88,2 million in Q3 2019 to EUR 88,9 million during Q3. Net Gaming Revenue (NGR) was 44 percent of the overall NGR from locally operated markets, down from 50 percent in 2019.
The decrease is due to the output of the company’s Swedish operation, which has, for the time being, been affected by the temporary restrictions imposed on 2 July.
NGR decreased by 20 percent in the Nordic region compared to the same period a year ago due to the ‘temporary restrictions introduced in Sweden in July’ that included new deposit limits.
LeoVegas announced that NGR increased by 13 percent compared to the same period a year ago in the Rest of Europe area. According to the operator, following the special circumstances that existed during the second quarter, under which societies in Europe were periodically fully shut down in reaction to Covid-19, the quarter ‘introduced a return to more usual player behaviour.’
NGR rose by 21 percent in the rest of the world over the same timeframe a year earlier, with positive changes in most markets.
Hagman continued: “We had a favourable development in most of our markets during the quarter, with our growing customer base as the main driver. Many markets had double-digit growth compared with the same period a year ago.
“In Sweden we are seeing a troubling development in which the unlicensed market continues to grow unhindered. A growing number of operators without licences are actively targeting Swedish players, including those who have been barred by the self-exclusion tool Spelpaus.
“This has been confirmed by, among others, several organisations that provide help to people with a gambling problem. These organisations have noted that the majority of those seeking help are playing with the unlicensed operators.
“The problem is big and is shaking the foundation of the entire Swedish licence system. Quick and strong measures are now needed by Swedish politicians and authorities to ensure a well functioning Swedish gaming market.”