As it looks to limit its losses, Svenska Spel has confirmed it intends to close and liquidate Casino Cosmopol in Gothenburg and Malmö although a final decision can only be made after the trade union negotiations have been concluded.
This follows the closure of the casino Sundsvall in 2020 and takes Sweden’s total number of casinos down to just one, the operator’s flagship casino in Stockholm. Svenska Spel said Casino Cosmopol has struggled with profitability due to declining visitor numbers as more and more people choose to play casino online.
Ola Enquist, CEO of Casino Cosmopol, said: “This is an emotionally tough step to take as it affects many of our employees. We have taken a number of measures in an effort to increase revenue and reduce costs. Despite hard work, we see that the measures are not enough. Therefore, we now intend to close down two of our casinos.”
The operator outlined that in line with the increased digitisation, more and more consumers are choosing to play online, not least when it comes to games at online casinos. The shift from gambling at land-based casinos to online gambling accelerated after the re-regulation of the gambling market in 2019 and the subsequent pandemic, when Casino Cosmopol was closed. Online casinos currently account for a third of the revenue in the gambling market in Sweden.
In order to reverse Casino Cosmopol’s negative development, an action program was initiated. This included a restructuring of the entire organization, a change in opening hours from seven to four days a week, a new simplified restaurant concept and a reduction in staff. Despite this, the losses have continued. In the event of a closure of the casinos in Gothenburg and Malmö, Casino Cosmopol in Stockholm, which has the largest number of guests, will become Sweden’s only remaining land-based casino.
Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel, said: “For a long time, we have seen a trend that more people are playing online. In the last ten years, online casinos have grown rapidly, which changes the conditions for operating land-based casinos. Despite significant measures, we see challenges in achieving profitability for Casino Cosmopol. Therefore, we are now taking this further step to limit losses.”
Svenska Spel has been commissioned by the Swedish government to offer land-based casino games. The review of Casino Cosmopol is being carried out in dialogue with the owner and in collaboration with the trade unions. A closure could affect around 120 employees in Gothenburg and 80 in Malmö.
Casino Cosmopol is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AB Svenska Spel, which in 1999 was commissioned by the government to establish international casinos in Sweden. The first casino was opened in Sundsvall in 2001 (closed down in 2020). Later that year, the casino opened in Malmö, followed by Gothenburg in 2002 and Stockholm in 2003.