Svenska Spel donates SEK2.2m to gambling addiction studies

| By Marese O'Hagan
Swedish-owned lottery and gaming operator Svenska Spel's independent research council has granted SEK2.2m (£1.8m/€2.1m/$2.5m) in funds to research gambling addiction in Sweden.

The total will be divided over four research projects and aims to fuel study into the reasons for gambling addiction and how players can find support.

Jakob Jonsson at the Center for Psychiatric Research, Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded SEK727,892 to further his study on whether self-testing measures affect players’ gambling behaviours.

A rule obligating operators with Swedish licenses to offer a self-testing feature, where customers answer questions about their gambling habits, has been in place since 2019.

Sofia Vadlin, from the Center for Clinical Research for the region of Västmanland, has received SEK500,000 of the total to explore the effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on gambling behaviours and gambling problems.

This will involve comparisons between gambling behaviours before and during the pandemic.

Researcher Anna Söderpalm Gordh, of Sahlgrenska Academy, also received SEK500,000 to fund research into computer game addiction.

The study will evaluate the effects of a 15 week cognitive behavioural therapy course designed to address an addiction to computer games.

The final SEK500,000 has been granted to Tobias Elgan at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, to investigate why gambling problems are more prominent in elite male athletes.

The project aims to design measures to prevent problem gambling among the athletes and address other forms of risk behaviour.

Since Svenska Spel’s independent research council was established in 2019, it has granted SEK45m in funds to 35 research projects and studies.

“This year’s applications were high quality and showed breadth,” said Sara Lindholm, chair of Svenska Spel’s independent research council.

“It is socially important that we continue to support research that aims to develop evidence-based methods to counteract gambling. In addition, it is important that research can help society develop new treatment methods for gambling addiction.”

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