Sweden Pondering Casino Cosmopol Closure

Land Based Casinos Business
Alan Campbell

Updated by

Alan Campbell

Last Updated 8th May 2024, 03:43 PM

Sweden Pondering Casino Cosmopol Closure

Casino Cosmopol in Stockholm faces closing. (Image: Tomas Oneborg / Alamy)

The last remaining casino location in Sweden could permanently close its doors as early as next year should the government pass proposed legislation removing land-based gaming as a form of activity supported by a state-issued gambling license.

The Scandinavian nation’s Svenska Spel regulator confirmed the ratification of a planned amendment to the governing Gambling Act 2018 would force it to permanently shutter its Casino Cosmopol-branded venue in Stockholm before January 1, 2026, with the loss of approximately 200 jobs.

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Shifting Sands

Established in 1997, Svenska Spel had also been responsible for Casino Cosmopol-branded properties in the communities of Malmo, Gothenburg and Sundsvall. But the state-owned enterprise shut this latter venue down four years ago before calling time on the former pair in February due to declining profitability as punters increasingly opted to play online.

The closure of all but one of its land-based casinos could still not stop Svenska Spel’s net profit for the first three months of 2024 dropping by 24.6% year-on-year to about $27 million. This stood in stark contrast to the 6% rise in pre-tax revenues from its online operations to over $100.6 million, which amounted to 56% of all its receipts.


Forlorn Forecast

The President and Chief Executive Officer for Svenska Spel, Erik Strand, agreed with a pessimistic government assessment on the Stockholm casino’s future prospects before acknowledging the venue is facing ‘challenges to reach profitability’. He went on to assert ‘the opportunity to reach profitability is lacking’ with a closure ‘not expected to have any major impact on illegal gambling’.

The movement from gambling in land-based casinos to gambling online accelerated after the reregulation of the gambling market in 2019 and the subsequent pandemic when Casino Cosmopol remained closed,” Strand said. 

“Our review of Casino Cosmopol has taken place in close dialogue with our owner and we share the assessment that it is no longer possible to run Casino Cosmopol profitably.”

Heavy Heart

Ola Enquist serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Casino Cosmopol and he similarly agreed with the government’s official appraisal before describing the entire process as ‘emotional’. He furthermore pronounced the adoption of the Gambling Act 2018 amendment would ‘affect all of us’ and mean ‘that an era is over’.

“As an employer, we will do everything we can to support our employees,” Enquist said. “We will also stay open as usual and continue to take care of our guests.”

Meet The Author

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.

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