The Rise and Fall of Swedens Slot Machine King

rade kotur

In the early spring of 2016, several gunshots get fired off in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the victim of the storm of bullets falls down. Meanwhile, people just passing by on the formerly quiet street desperately hides behind parked cars to not get hit by the gunner. It sounds like an opening of an action movie, but it actually happened and it wasn’t the beginning, it marked an end. The victim of the shooting episode was the bodyguard of Rade Kotur, Sweden’s slot machine king.

Slot machines are big business in Sweden – An industry worth 25 billion Swedish Kroner ($2.5 billion) in profits, according to the official statistic from the Public Health Agency. That is a significant amount for such a small-sized population. On top of that, I think the income numbers are on the low side on the estimated profits for unregulated (and illegal) machines. Way, way too low.

Like most ventures that are flush with cash, the slot machine business attracts two types of gangsters that are on a collision course with each other: The Taxman and the Shady entrepreneur. Rade Kotur is in the latter category.

Rade Kotur built up an empire based on illegal slot machines since the 1980s through his company RKC Limited, registered in the United Kingdom, and the Swedish branch reportedly earned him $40 million per year. Despite the constant clashes with Swedish lottery and gambling authorities his business grew and his machines were stationed in all corners of the country. Catching 4 sentences in court along the way didn’t seem to slow him down: Rade Kotur continued to earn mountains of money from the thousands of machines installed in bars, shops, and restaurants. Until the state finally hit a jackpot of their own.

The Twenty-thousand Pages Criminal Report

The result of years of investigation by the Swedish Taxation authorities and the Economic Crime part of the police paid off: Rade Kotur got arrested by the London police an early November morning back in 2007, awaiting extradition back home to Sweden where the court was preparing a case against him. While Rade Kotur got handcuffed in London, the Swedish Police raided several locations, arresting 9 people associated with Kotur and confiscating over 400 slot machines.

With a 20,000 pages long report and a laundry list of charges against him (instigation of murder, money laundering, tax evasion, breaking slot machine regulations, to name a few), Rade Kotur’s business got brought down and he got sentenced to 12 years in prison. He served his time in a secure unit at the Kumla Prison (“The Bunker”), but despite security measures, he got assaulted by another prisoner during his stay.

When you are making money the way Rade Kotur did you get certainly get friends, but also enemies. Not only did he get beat up during his prison stay but his former competition also had an easier time to hurt him outside of “The Bunker”. The Slot machine king got released early (serving only half his prison sentence) and not long after, his bodyguard got shot down. This episode prompted him to wrap things up in a hurry, pack his bags, and settle in London – Marking the end of a three-decade-long reign over the money-generating machines.

Why I prefer Sports Betting over Coin Machines

håkan loob
One of my all-time favorite Hockey players, Håkan Loob.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “The house always wins”, and in the case of slots, one-armed bandits and machines like that this couldn’t be truer. These machines are more often than not programmed to pay out very, very rarely and as a player, you have to rely on that the machine itself isn’t manipulated – And unless you have some form of superpowers that allows you to read code by just looking at a motherboard, this is almost impossible to confirm. People like Rade Kotur isn’t going to give you fair odds, even on a machine that is already heavily tilted in the favor of the house.

That’s why I like the noble art of sports betting a lot more. I’m on my tenth season of betting on Swedish hockey league and have been betting on NHL for as long as I can remember – Without losing money (over a period of time, of course, losing money on single games are inevitable).

Playing it safe, having extensive historical knowledge about teams and following any news about “my” teams all flip the odds in my favor. I’m not going to be a millionaire sports-betting, I bet way too low sums for that, but it’s a great extra revenue stream while I’m enjoying watching sports.

Speaking of, I’ve started to really enjoy watching American Football – Influenced by having new friends that are really passionate about the sport. That itch to start betting on the sport made it clear I needed some form of cheat codes to help me out catching up with what teams are good and whats going on in the sport – I hate throwing away money with stupid, uninformed bets – and I found a newsletter that has really helped me out: The best part of it all is that its free! Get it here and start receiving betting tips for racing, boxing, football, and a few other sports you pick out to enjoy over your morning coffee. The guys at Betting Gods have earned me some sweet coin so far and I can’t thank them enough to get me up to speed so quickly. Very friendly guys that are not shy about answering questions by email, which is a big plus in my book. I’ll show off my betting account at a later time.

Peace and Profit,


 

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