Home > Sustainable Gambling > Svenska Spel: No increase in risky gambling in 2023

Svenska Spel: No increase in risky gambling in 2023

| By Marese O'Hagan
Svenska Spel has reported that there has been no increase in risky gambling behaviours in Sweden in 2023 so far, despite increased financial woes in the country.
Svenska Spel

The state-owned company came to the conclusion after analysing gambling statistics from January and February 2023.

In a blog post on Svenska Spel’s website, Kajsa Nylander, head of sustainability at Svenska Spel, attributed the find to a number of safer gambling measures the company had implemented in 2021 and 2022.

These consist of a mandatory income review for customers aged 18 or 19 who want to impose a gambling limit of over SEK1,000 (£78.91/€90.01/$96.71) each month, and for other customers who want to impose a gambling limit of over SEK100,000 per month.

The company had also implemented a mandatory 10-minute break for players using its Vegas slot machines and introduced a rebranded version of its gambling harm prevention tool, Min spelkoll.

Cost of living crisis

Nylander said that Svenska Spel decided to undertake the study in light of the rising cost of living, which has affected food supplies, energy prices and other aspects of day-to-day life in the country.

“Many people are currently feeling worried about their finances,” said Nylander. “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.”

Along with revealing the lack of increase in problem gambling, Svenska Spel found that those who had shown signs of risky gambling had gambled less during January-February 2023 than in the same period in 2022. This was especially obvious in online casinos.

Further measures

Nylander said that in order to continue these positive trends, Svenska Spel has placed more focus on its game check calls, a move it also made during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A game check call is a preventative measure that takes place when Svenska Spel notes concerning gambling behaviour in a new customer.

“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. “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.”

Nylander also said that this service had intercepted problem gambling behaviours in those who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

“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. “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 behaviour.”

Last week, Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen revealed that gambling revenue in the country rose by 5% in 2022.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter