2021 has been an extremely eventful year for the UK gaming market! From day one, the whole market saw a new gaming regulation that placed strict demands on its licensees with everything in terms of bonuses, responsible gaming, promotions and different types of games. Players who were used to receiving bonuses and participating in VIP programs instead had to settle for a single bonus, and fewer games than with unlicensed gaming companies. At the same time, we have seen many large and established casinos that have met the licensing requirements gallantly, while smaller, newer casinos have had to struggle to meet the requirements.
The license has nevertheless done a lot of good in Great Britain in 2021, and we can really see that 2021 will be an even brighter year when it comes to online casinos in UK.
The Swedish Gaming Inspectorate has placed great emphasis on controlling direct advertising and other advertising from casinos in Sweden in 2019, which at least we have noticed now that there is not as much advertising from gaming companies either in town or online. According to the British Gaming Inspectorate, 2020 will be a year where they will take a closer look at bonuses and bonus terms, where we believe it will be clearer what is allowed and not when it comes to welcome bonuses and other types of offers.
At the same time, the government and the British Gaming Inspectorate are working hard to ensure that the work for responsible gambling continues. Recently, statistics have shown that, although today there are more people who quit with the help of the national shutdown tool Spelpaus, there are fewer who actually seek help for gambling problems. Unfortunately, it is often not the suspension itself that solves a gambling problem, which is something that will be examined further in 2020.
When we look back at the end of 2021, when the gaming companies applied to operate in UK, there were many hopeful companies that were ready to take on the challenge. At the same time, we saw a lot of casinos that simply said thank you and hello to the British market due to unclear directives and rules. In 2021, many of these issues have been resolved, and it feels like it is now not as unclear when it comes to what is actually required of a Swedish casino.
What does this mean for new casinos by 2021 then? We are actually hopeful to see several new interesting online casinos enter the scene. We can actually not answer how many there will be at the moment, but if we can be optimistic, we think we will see a good influx of online casinos that want to be involved and offer fair, safe and fun casino entertainment in Sweden.
If we look beyond regulation and casinos, we actually believe that 2022 will be a massive year for just new technical solutions and exciting new features in casino games. In 2019, for example, we have seen how games with Megaways functions have become some of the most popular slots on the market, and we can perhaps expect a lot of big game releases from game providers such as Microgaming, Quickspin and NetEnt. NetEnt bought Red Tiger Gaming in 2019, which opens up for really high-quality game releases in 2020, and the question is whether we will not see more game suppliers folding their bags. Or brand new gaming providers such as Microgaming's new addition Alchemy Gaming, which is said to have some new gaming releases to expect in early 2022.
Last but certainly not least, we can probably see more technical solutions that further simplify deposits and withdrawals. Earlier this year, Trustly released its Pay N Play API which opened up even more easy-to-use casinos. We would guess that there is something waiting with other payment methods as well. In 2022, we also hope that withdrawals will finally work for Swish!
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