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Svenska Spel appoints new head of public affairs

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Swedish state-owned gaming operator Svenska Spel has appointed Erika Svanström as its new head of public affairs, effective as of 2 November.
Svenska Spel 2023

She joins from her own consulting business and brings experience in local, regional and national politics. Svanström has worked in public affairs with a focus on international competition, changing legislation and government-related issues in sustainable business.

She has been an advisor on public affairs issues at Svenska Spel since April 2019, and prior to that was communications manager at Sveriges Åkeriföretag, an industry association for transport and haulage.

Joakim Mörnefält, the operator’s communications director, commented: “I am very happy to welcome Erika Svanström to Svenska Spel. She will have an important role as responsible for our activities in public affairs.”

“As a state-owned gaming company, Svenska Spel will be a role model for the industry. We want to take that responsibility on a broad front,” Mörnefält continued. “This includes creating increased knowledge and awareness of the challenges that the industry faces in the long and short term vis-à-vis our decision-makers.”

He went on to describe major changes taking place in the gaming industry, including the Swedish government’s ongoing investigation into the market.

Restrictions imposed by the nation’s government in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic saw casino and slot players limited to a weekly deposit limit of SEK5,000 (£436/€431/$566), with a cap on bonuses of SEK100.

Operators, as well as industry association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS), criticised the measures and suggested they would harm the market and its licensees, while encouraging players to use offshore, unlicensed operators.

Results published earlier this month that Svenska Spel’s third quarter revenue fell 8.2% year-on-year as growth in igaming and lottery failed to mitigate the ongoing shut-down of its Casino Cosmopol network and reduced numbers of land-based slots.

After paying SEK360m in gaming duties and SEK260m in gaming-related costs, the operator’s net revenue from gaming operations for the three months to 30 September came to SEK1.30bn, down 8.0%.

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