Safer Gambling Measures Yield Positive Results
Svenska Spel, a state-owned Swedish company, has revealed in their recent blog post that there has been no significant increase in problem gambling during the cost of living crisis. This analysis is based on the gambling statistics from January and February 2023. Head of sustainability at Svenska Spel, Kajsa Nylander, credits the implementation of several safer gambling measures in 2021 and 2022 for this positive outcome.
Mandatory Reviews and Breaks Prove Effective
Some of the key measures Svenska Spel implemented include a mandatory income review for customers aged 18 or 19 who wish to set a gambling limit over SEK1,000 per month and for other customers who seek a limit exceeding SEK10,000 per month. Additionally, the company introduced a mandatory 10-minute break for players using its Vegas slot machines and a rebranded version of its gambling harm prevention tool, Min spelkoll.
Nylander explained that the study was conducted due to the rising cost of living in Sweden, affecting food supplies, energy prices, and other aspects of daily life: “Many people are currently feeling worried about their finances. Inflation and increased housing interest rates hit households hard. There are therefore fears that the increased vulnerability could lead to more people developing gambling problems.”
Continuing Preventative Measures
Along with the reassuring findings, Svenska Spel discovered that those who displayed signs of risky gambling gambled less during January-February 2023 than in the same period in 2022, with online casinos showing the most significant decline.
To maintain these positive trends, Svenska Spel has increased focus on its game check calls, a preventative measure employed when the company notices concerning gambling behaviour in a new customer. Nylander elaborated, “We want customers to play in a planned and safe way, so we often talk in these conversations about the importance of having limits that are reasonable for the customer.”
This service has also been effective in intercepting problem gambling behaviours among those struggling with the cost of living crisis. Nylander said, “In some of these conversations, we have intercepted people who mentioned that, for example, they had a hard time paying the electricity bill or ran out of food.”
Last week, Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen reported a 5% increase in the country’s gambling revenue in 2022.