Swedish casino closure, Jaldung: 'Beware of increase in illegal gaming'

16 May 2024 - 11:58

Per Jaldung, former Ceo of Casino Cosmopol and current honorary president of the Eca, comments on the possible decision of the Swedish government to close the last existing casino in the country, that of Stockholm.

Written by Amr

Swedish government is considering to close also the last existing land-based casino, the one in Stockholm. A decision which would lead, in this case, to the Scandinavian country no longer having casinos, this however not in the name of a prohibitionism pursued elsewhere, but "only" because they are no longer profitable and capable of achieving the targets, including economic ones, for which they were established.
A scenario that is the subject of attention at a European level and therefore also by those who, like Per Jaldung, were Ceo of Casino Cosmopol until September 2022 and who, after having been president of the European Casino Association, is now its honorary president, as well as leading the Grand Casino Viage in Brussels

“I regret to read that also the Stockholm casino (the last one in Sweden) might close down permanently, but I understand the direction of decisions, given the new regulation and the interpretation of the applicable laws over the last few years. I am not so sure it was the lawmaker’s intention to create this situation, when the new Gambling law came into effect back in 2019”, he says to Again, Jaldung reports: “An increase of illegal gambling in underground clubs and casinos has already been noted in Malmo and Gothenburg, the same thing will happen in Stockholm. There is still a demand for live gaming and slot machines and when regulated and licensed operators no longer exist, someone else will offer the games illegally. Illegal gambling sites are not good for problem gamblers, for anti-money laundering efforts or for crime in general. Simple as that.”

Jaldung, who had personally supervised the opening of the Stockholm casino, adds: “It is sad to see the huge investments over 20 years in facilities, equipment, branding, staff, training, relations, responsible gaming, IT-systems etc etc, being folded. Not to mention all the job opportunities, taxes and supplier business being lost. My heart goes out to all the dedicated staff losing their livelihood. Casino Cosmopol had about 1000 Ftes and over 1,2 million visits per year before the pandemic, now it is a fraction of that. Of course, the rise of online casinos is also, in part, a reason for the decline (the online market is more than ten times bigger than the land-based market in Sweden). Cosmopol is prohibited to have an online license. What could have been done differently in the past, to avoid this situation? I have my thoughts on this subject, but I will share them at a different point in time. Given the situation of today, I don’t blame the company for closing down Malmo and Gothenburg and the Government to consider whether or not to maintain the last one, in Stockholm. It is merely not possible to operate traditional, international casinos under the current circumstances”, he ends.

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