Malta-based MRG set its sights on a Swedish on­line gam­bling li­cence

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

A Malta-based MRG has set its sights on a Swedish on­line gam­bling li­cence, Paul How wrote on ON.

In its Swedish li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion, MRG in­cluded its on­line gam­bling sites Mr Green, Red­bet, Vin­narum, Ber­til, and Ma­maMi­aBingo.

In a state­ment, MRG CEO Per Nor­man said, “Fi­nally, Swe­den has be­come a reg­u­lated mar­ket,” re­fer­ring to the June pas­sage a leg­is­la­tion open­ing Swe­den’s on­line mar­ket to in­ter­na­tional gam­bling op­er­a­tors, ef­fec­tive 2019. MRG’s sub­sidiaries, Mr Green Ltd and Evoke Gam­ing Ltd, have ap­plied for the Swedish li­censes.

MRG is al­ready oper­at­ing in 13 mar­kets, and has gam­ing li­cences in Italy, Latvia, Malta, and the UK, as well as a casino li­cence in Den­mark and a sports­book li­cense in Ire­land.

The com­pany re­ported for the first half of the year rev­enue of SEK793.8 mil­lion ($86.66 mil­lion), a 40.8% in­crease from the same pe­riod last year. Earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­za­tion (EBITDA) amounted to SEK91.2 mil­lion ($9.96 mil­lion).

In the com­pany’s lat­est fi­nan­cial re­port, Nor­man said, “Swe­den con­tin­ues to de­velop very well for us. Rev­enue grew by 57.0 per cent dur­ing the quar­ter, with healthy or­ganic growth. In the sec­ond quar­ter, Swe­den ac­counted for 18.9 per cent of our to­tal rev­enue.”

Aside from MRG, the Kin­dred Group and Bethard, also from Malta, are look­ing to take ad­van­tage of Swe­den’s le­git­imized mar­ket.

The li­cence ap­pli­ca­tions, which be­gan this month, in­clude a pay­ment of SEK400,000 ($43,700) for gam­bling, and SEK700,000 ($76,400) for both gam­bling and bet­ting op­tions. Li­censes for those who meet the re­quire­ments are valid for five years and re­quire an 18% tax on rev­enue to be paid.

Swe­den’s reg­u­la­tory body, the Lot­teri­in­spek­tio­nen, re­ported that the gam­bling mar­ket was worth $1.95 bil­lion for the first nine months of 2017, with about one-fourth of this be­ing from op­er­a­tors out­side of Swe­den.

The Swedish gov­ern­ment is con­duct­ing a re­view of what the new leg­is­la­tion will mean for state-op­er­ated Sven­ska Spel and ATG. Even with the lib­er­al­iza­tion of the on­line gam­ing mar­ket taking ef­fect next year, Sven­ska Spel has al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced smaller rev­enues, re­port­ing a rev­enue of SEK2.08 bil­lion ($227 mil­lion) dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter, 4% lower than last year.

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