Svenska Spel

Four questions for Anitra Steen, Chairman

What challenges does Svenska Spel face?

"Our greatest and most important challenge is to continue progressing on our responsible gaming efforts. Demands on society preventing people from succumbing to gamb­ling addiction are increasing and Svenska Spel must do its part. We aim to provide attractive games that satisfy customers’ needs for excitement and enter­tainment. At the same time, we must always include the responsible gaming perspective in our approach and in designing our products and offerings. This is a key com­ponent of our customer offering and we still have a great deal to do in this area."

What characterises effective and modern gaming ­regulations?

"Generally speaking, we have sound gaming policies and regulations that are based on protecting consumers, but in reality, there are shortcomings. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that publishing advertisements for unregulated companies is in breach of the Lotteries Act, it has been impossible to impose sanctions on those in breach of this ban. This renders the regulations rather impotent. Effective regulations would uphold the ban on advertising from foreign-based companies, while also providing the Swedish Gambling Authority with specific and effective options to act on in the event of transgressions."

What can we learn from our Nordic neighbours?

"There is a great deal that unites Sweden, Norway and ­Finland in terms of gaming policies. Norway and Finland have clearly tightened their gaming regulations to protect consumers, which I believe that we could learn a lesson from in Sweden. Denmark has opted for a solution with more licensed companies. We have seen advertisements for gaming companies increasing in Denmark, and there were also recently indications that more people are seeking help for gambling problems. The exact cause of this remains to be seen and it will be interesting to follow these developments."

How do you view the Swedish National Audit Office’s study of the government’s role in the Swedish gaming market*?

"I think that it is great that the Swedish National Audit Office had such a clear focus on responsible gaming in its study. It is also a key component in drafting future gaming policies. Among other aspects, it indicated that ­Svenska Spel has not made as much progress in defining responsible gaming in certain areas, which we must ­continue to work on. At the same time, it is important to balance restrictions with trusting individual customers to be responsible for monitoring their gaming habits. We do not want to lecture them!"

*Read more about the Swedish National Audit Office’s study