It’s a tough world out there and the recent inflation, electricity prices, increased interest rates and a higher overall cost of living is causing concern for a lot of households. Because of these types of situations, there’s an increased vulnerability that can lead to more people developing gambling problems.
In Sweden, this is something that the government is keeping a close eye on at the moment but a recent report by Svenska Spel reveals there has been no increase at all so far during 2023. As a matter of fact, the numbers are actually showing lower risk than for the same period in 2022.
Even Better Than Expected
Svenska Spel is, as you probably know, a state-owned company operating in the regulated gambling market in Sweden. This month they looked at all available Swedish gambling statistics from both January and February of 2023. After analyzing it, they came to the conclusion that the situation was even better than expected.
The analytics showed two things:
- There is no increase of gambling addiction and risky behavior. Instead, the numbers are actually decreasing compared to previous years.
- Players who have shown patterns of risky gambling have played with less money compared to the same period in 2022, especially when it comes to online casinos.
Implemented Measures Are Working
A big reason for the improved numbers is the fact that the measures that were implemented during 2021 and 2022 are actually working.
One of the measures that were put into work is a mandatory income review for young players that are between the ages of 18-19, with a gambling limit of 1,000 SEK (around €90) per month.
This type of review is also used on players wanting a limit of more than 100,000 SEK ( €9,000 per month.
Mandatory Deposit Limit
In December 2022 there was also a proposal put forward suggesting that there should be a mandatory deposit limit of SEK5,000 (€448) per week for online casino players. The limit would apply to all players, regardless of their level of risk.
The proposal received the necessary support from the Swedish Gambling Authority, stating that it would help to prevent problem gambling. Some operators were concerned that the proposal would lead to customers playing on unlicensed sites.
Despite this, the proposal received a lot of support from politicians and the public, with many believing that it was necessary to tackle the issue of problem gambling.
Take A Break
Other things that were implemented to help are a mandatory 10-minute break for players using Vegas slot machines and something called Min Spelkoll (translated to My Gambling Control). This allows the players to get a better overview of their own gambling and identify risky behavior.
Game Check Calls
Kajsa Nylander, head of sustainability at Svenska Spel, was happy to see the results and that things are not going wild. One of the things Nylander praised for its effectiveness is something called “Game Check Calls.”
These calls were first implemented during the pandemic and works as a preventative measure towards new players.
“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,” explained Nylander.
Continue With Our Preventive Talks
“We also talk to the customer about the risks of the particular form of game they are playing and inform them about our game control tools so that they get good protection. 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,” she said.
Nylander continued: “So even if risky gambling has decreased overall, it is important that we continue with our preventive talks to help customers keep track of their gambling behavior.”
This is great news for Sweden and I don’t think they are the only market that wants to stay on top of gambling issues, especially now. Clearly these measures are working so far and if that leads to players being able to enjoy their gambling without digging themselves into a deep hole, I’m all for it.
If you want to read more about Responsible Gaming, just click here.