Svenska Spel chair steps down over social responsibility strategy
Anitra Linnéa Steen has confirmed that she is to leave her role as chairwoman of Svenska Spel due to concerns over the Swedish state-owned lottery operator’s social responsibility strategy.
Steen, the wife of former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, told the Dagens Industri newspaper that the company’s focus on driving profits has led it to pay too little attention to social and ethical values.
Svenska Spel previously stated it has taken this approach as part of a wider effort to stop punters in the country from turning to unlicensed offshore operators.
“For a social democracy it has always been important to have a clear social responsibility, and Svenska Spel has had an efficient gaming policy which has been of great importance for social causes; now it is on the way out, ” Steen said.
“One should not have private profit interests drive sales in these activities.”
Steen, who also called on Sweden’s government to do more to prohibit offshore gambling through initiatives such as blacklisting IP addresses and banning the advertisement of such services, now looks set to be replaced by Erik Strand when she departs in October.
Strand currently serves as president and chief executive of a healthcare company in Sweden. Svenska Spel is yet to make an announcement regarding any potential appointment.
Related article: Svenska Spel cites responsible gambling strategy after 2015 growth