Unibet to Sponsor and Host Swedish Poker Championships

Unibet Poker has made more strides in Sweden after extending its contract to host the Scandinavian country’s long-running national championships.

unibet poker

Unibet will host the long-running Swedish Poker Championships for the next three years. (Image: unibet poker)

The Swedish Poker Championships (Poker-SM) has taken place in one form or another since 1974. Like all live events, it was forced to adapt in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Unibet Poker stepped into the breach on a trial basis. That trial proved successful, as the Swedish Poker Association has extended the deal for another three years.

Swedish Poker Championships Going Digital

2020 wasn’t the first time the Swedish Poker Championships took place online. The organizers adopted a dual focus in 2006, hosting part of the festival in live venues and part of it online.

However, 2020 was the first time Unibet got involved. Prior to the latest deal, 888poker played host to the online portion of the festival.

Unibet’s takeover is fitting. Its parent company, the Kindred Group, has close ties to Sweden. Kindred’s founder, Anders Ström, is Swedish. The company also has offices in Sweden, and it’s listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange.

Unibet Poker has been active there since 2019. Now, as the headline sponsor for Sweden’s national championships, it hopes to gain momentum in what’s long been a strong poker-playing nation.

“It will be exciting to arrange the Swedish Championships for the next three years. Together, with all parties moving in the same direction, we will be able to achieve our goals of a steadily increasing its popularity,” said Leo Wagenius, Tournament Manager for Unibet.

Unibet Poker has long been a leading light on the European tournament scene. The Unibet Open launched in 2007 and has earned a reputation for being as big on entertainment as it is at providing value for money.

Unibet Poker Continues Online Revolution

The company announced on Feb. 24 that, due to ongoing COVID restrictions in Europe, all Unibet Open events will take place online in 2021.

The Swedish Poker Championships won’t be part of this line-up but it’s another string to the Unibet’s ever-lengthening bow.

In addition to making noise on the tournament scene, Unibet has won multiple awards over the last five years for its commitment to casual players. 2020 was a record year for the site, which has operated as an independent network since breaking away from iPoker in 2013.

More recently, Kindred CEO, Henrik Tjärnström, said that he wants his company to derive no money from problem gambling by 2023. This means Unibet and its nine sister sites, including 32Red and Maria Casino, will try to completely eradicate something that’s become a major focus for regulators in the past five years.

It’s a bold move and one that may be hard to achieve. However, Kindred’s Head of Responsible Gaming & Research, Maris Catania, believes smart technology and retraining staff will help.

Before it gets to zero problem gambling, Unibet will be looking to enhance its presence in a major European market with the Swedish Poker Championships.

The online festival is open to all Unibet.se customers and runs from March 19 until April 10. A live event is then scheduled to take place in Estonia in August.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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