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May 7, 2024

Sweden Plans to Shut Down Final Land-Based Casino

The Swedish government plans to close down its last state-owned casino, Casino Cosmopol, located in the heart of Stockholm, after more than two decades.

The Swedish government has recently presented a memorandum containing proposals to change the law regarding land-based casinos. The change will result in the discontinuation of the land-based casino, Casino Cosmopol. This decision has been made due to the challenges faced by Casino Cosmopol in achieving profitability and the fact that its liquidation is not expected to have any significant impact on illegal gambling. The amendment to the law is proposed to take effect on January 1, 2026.

Svenska Spel, a state-owned company operating in the regulated gambling market in Sweden, shares the government's assessment that business conditions are not good and that the opportunity to achieve profitability is scarce. In recent years, Casino Cosmopol has witnessed declining profitability and visitor numbers and this comes from more and more people choosing to play online. To limit losses, Svenska Spel closed the casino in Sundsvall in 2020. A couple of years later, they also closed in Gothenburg and Malmö in February 2024. As a result, only Casino Cosmopol in Stockholm remains of the four original casinos.

Erik Strand, VD and CEO at Svenska Spel, said: 

"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. Our review of Casino Cosmopol has taken place in close dialogue with our owner. We share the assessment that it is no longer possible to run Casino Cosmopol profitably. Although we share the government's assessment, it is emotional to take part in the bill. If it is adopted, it means that our last casino is closing and that an era is over."

Since the late 20th century, with the advent of the internet, everything has changed, and the gambling industry is no exception. Land-based casinos are facing a decline similar to what cinemas experienced with the rise of Netflix, CDs with the introduction of Spotify, and physical stores with the popularity of online shopping. The internet has made casino games easily accessible to gamblers, with countless options available online, and players no longer need to leave their houses to experience the excitement of gambling.

It is not all dead. Although the land-based casino industry may be struggling, casino tourism is still a popular and thriving industry. Destinations such as Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, and Macau remain popular, and maybe the secret to that is that what they offer goes beyond just gambling. It is not "everyday life" casinos because that we can get online. Instead, they offer a full traveling adventure, including luxury hotels, gambling, shopping, and restaurants.

In conclusion, online casinos are now an increasingly popular alternative, offering quality and seamless gaming experiences from the comfort of our homes, and that is probably the reason land-based casinos fall with more and more closing. It is a little sad that we won't have any more land-based casinos in Sweden because Casino Cosmopol has been a well-known establishment for over 20 years. Still, there is a chance to go out and gamble in Sweden, as there are casino games in some restaurants. It is worth noting that this only applies to roulette, card, and dice games. In the future, the key to success for land-based casinos may be to offer a complete experience that goes beyond just gambling we now easily have access to online.