A new study by the Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) found that 19% Swedish players who play more than once per quarter increased their share of gambling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Researchers at SKOP, commissioned by the SGA, interviewed more than 3,000 gamblers over the age of 18 for the study, with one in three (32%) admitting to online gambling at least once a quarter.
One in four players (27%) said they play every month or more, while 16% say they play every week.
Of this control sample, 7% stated that they intentionally played on sites without a Swedish license, and another 12% stated that they did not know if the site they played on was licensed.
Among those who played during the quarter on an unlicensed site, there was an even split between those whose gambling activity increased during the pandemic (50%) and those whose gaming activity remained stable or declined (50%).
When accessing unlicensed 47% sites, respondents said they did so through explicit internet searches, with one in three players citing friend tips and promotions as the main reasons for accessing these sites.
More than half said they paid by card when using an unlicensed site, with payments processed through Trustly, representing over 80% of survey respondents.
Survey participants who claimed to have played on unlicensed sites listed poker and online casinos as the top verticals they searched for.
In addition, survey participants suggested that being able to access better odds and winnings, as well as bonuses and sites where they were previously blocked via Spelpaus, were the main reasons for gambling on unlicensed sites.
Questions about games on unlicensed sites were answered by only about 60 people, so they should be interpreted with caution, according to the SGA methodology.
Of those who played on sites licensed in Sweden, 54% said they did so for security reasons, while 41% admitted they did so because of the presence of an outside regulatory body.
Lotteries, or so-called number games, were the most popular among survey participants who gambled online, accounting for 60% of players, while horse racing and sports betting accounted for 36% of consumers.
One in five (20%) said they played at an online casino, dropping to 11% for online bingo and 7% for online poker.
Half of the online gamers surveyed (50%) said they only did it on one vertical.
Interviews were conducted in May 2021 via an online survey.