Svenska Spel

Responsible gaming

Svenska Spel must work to minimise the negative social consequences of gaming operations. This endeavour is assigned high priority in all operational decisions and leads to specific measures to develop a stronger sense of responsible gaming.

Svenska Spel’s social responsibility is to provide gaming in a responsible and secure manner and minimise the negative consequences of the company’s operations and products. Svenska Spel’s mandate includes:

  • provide gaming forms that may be deemed to entail risks of a social nature, within the framework for social responsibility, when this is believed to be able to curb illegal gaming in unsupervised forms;
  • take into account social considerations, fraud risks and consumer interests in the development of gaming forms and in the business as a whole;
  • focus on social responsibility in its marketing.

Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming policy describes the guidelines for responsible gaming. The policy states how the company shall meet the above requirements. Svenska Spel’s aim is for its responsible gaming efforts to serve as a role model for leading the progression toward a healthy gaming market.

Responsibility is also highlighted in Svenska Spel’s co­r­por­ate values, the internal guide that underlines the value of accessible, considerate and committed employees.

Objectives of responsible gaming

Svenska Spel shall conduct itself as a responsible company. This requires Svenska Spel to be responsible in its marketing and when designing games and to be able to offer customers tools to prevent gambling problems – while also ensuring that gaming with Svenska Spel is an entertaining and enjoyable experience.

All customers should feel that it is secure and safe and that they are offered the means to maintain control of their ­gaming.

Responsible gaming strategies

  • Informed choices – Consumers are entitled to accurate, readily available and easily understandable information to facilitate making informed choices.
  • Responsible gaming shall be integrated with the business and have a distinct and relevant control system.
  • Make responsible gaming part of the gaming experience.
  • Increase awareness of Svenska Spel’s mandate and responsibility among its stakeholders.

Responsibility in developing games

Svenska Spel must apply the precautionary principle in the development of new games and in the composition of its overall gaming offering. The principle entails, for example, that Svenska Spel does not develop games that are con­sidered risky unless such games are already available and in demand in the market.

Svenska Spel is the only gaming company in Sweden to use the GAM-GaRD tool, which was developed by researchers. The tool is compulsory in the product development process. It is used to identify risk components in a game and to classify and document each product. Games with higher risk are altered or provided with enhanced consumer protection and/or preventive responsible gaming tools. See the illustration here.

Responsible marketing

Svenska Spel has its own marketing guidelines, but also follows the guidelines from SPER (Ethical Council of the Gaming Industry) and the standard set by European Lotteries. ­Svenska Spel’s guidelines stipulate that marketing must be responsible in focus and designed to minimise the risk of excessive gaming. Nor shall it be perceived as too assertive, misleading or include false information about the odds of winning. ­Svenska Spel’s gaming permit specifies age limits and rest­rictions in terms of the marketing of the various games.

Training in responsible gaming

Svenska Spel continuously trains employees, retailers and business partners in responsible gaming. All new retailers undergo responsible gaming training that includes information on the risks of gaming, where players can turn for help and the importance of age verification.

Svenska Spel offers a special responsible gaming training course geared toward the company’s managers. The aim is to provide the managers with in-depth knowledge of responsible gaming and the means to conduct their operations in a responsible manner based on the company’s mandate.

Svenska Spel also offers interactive training courses for all employees, which must be completed upon recruitment. The training course includes information about problem gaming, responsible marketing and product development.

Responsible gaming in all channels

Svenska Spel pursues responsible gaming actions that are focused on and adapted to the various sales channels, such as the dialogues that Casino Cosmopol employees have with certain guests, the specific requirements that online poker players must fulfil before they can begin playing, and the age-verification requirements among retailers and business partners.

Svenska Spel imposes an age limit of 18 for all games and ­l­­otteries, and of 20 for Casino Cosmopol. Players can sign ­voluntary agreements about bans from casinos and from games on svenskaspel.se. Read more about responsible ­gaming efforts in Svenska Spel’s result areas.

Study of Vegas

During the spring of 2012, Svenska Spel commissioned an independent study of Vegas aimed at identifying development areas to strengthen responsible gaming for Vegas and to minimise the risks of the game.

The investigator studied such matters as the gaming envir­onment, permits, inspections, the illegal market, information and training initiatives and responsible gaming actions aimed at individual players. International studies on VLTs were also compiled.

The investigator presented the findings during the autumn. A project group has been appointed to prepare proposals and to evaluate when and in what order they should be implemented.

Security and risk management

Svenska Spel seeks to discover and prevent unethical behaviour, both internally and externally. The company is explicit that its operations must not be used for money laundering or other criminal activities. The development of competitive products and distribution channels with integrated respon­sible gaming and gaming security is thus an important ­element of the ­business.

Svenska Spel’s mandate includes:

  • being a credible but also attractive alternative to, first and foremost, unsupervised gaming operations
  • taking into account social considerations, fraud risks and consumer interests in the development of gaming forms and in the business as a whole.

Incidents

Any security incidents that occur are handled through the Help Line, and when necessary, they are brought to the attention of Group management. Joint reporting and case management systems enable follow-ups at the result area and Group level. After unusual betting patterns were noticed, Svenska Spel contacted and cooperated with the sports associations concerned on two occasions. Both incidents were reported to the police.

Risk of money laundering

The risk of money laundering arises in contexts involving substantial cash flows, such as at casinos. Casinos in Sweden are regulated by the Swedish Act on Measures against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and supervised by the Swedish Gambling Authority.

Suspicious transactions are reported to the Financial Unit of the National Criminal Intelligence Service. The casinos’ procedures and training initiatives have been deemed effective and its ongoing cooperation with the Financial Unit of the National Criminal Intelligence Service and supervisory authorities works well.

In 2012, Casino Cosmopol reported 332 incidents (284) to the Financial Unit of the National Criminal Intelligence ­Service in accordance with the Swedish Act on Measures against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

In 2012, a Compliance Officer with Group-wide responsibility for money laundering matters was recruited. During the year, Svenska Spel clarified that it would voluntarily take a risk-based approach to these matters even in the operational areas that are not directly subject to this legislation. An effort to formulate clear procedures and better tools to counteract money laundering was initiated in 2012.

Illegal gaming machines

Svenska Spel continuously reports illegal gaming machines, meaning gaming machines that do not belong to Svenska Spel. The reports are submitted to the appropriate authorities, primarily the Swedish Gambling Authority. Svenska Spel ­conducts regular inspections among retailers and business partners and revokes their permits if the illegal gaming machines are not removed. In 2012, five retailers (eight) were terminated due to having illegal gaming machines in their venues.

Fraud

Svenska Spel shall counteract fraud and cooperates with the police, banks and card companies in matters relating to stolen or counterfeit credit cards at retailers, business partners and on the Internet. As a result of focused efforts and strengthened procedures concerning the management of fraud, card-based fraud is no longer deemed to constitute a major issue in the operation.

Security among retailers

Customer security at retailers was enhanced with the introduction of identity verification for payouts over SEK 1,000. For winnings of SEK 20,000 or more, the retailer terminal is blocked and the winner must directly contact Svenska Spel before collecting the winnings. Information about the winning on the customer display is clear and the customer’s name is printed on the gaming ticket, which is to be handed in with the Spelkortet customer card. This ensures that the customer is informed about the winning and that the winnings are paid to the correct recipient.

In 2012, Svenska Spel initiated proactive inspection efforts focused on the retailers’ handling of games in their inter­actions with customers. The primary aim of the inspections is to improve customers’ security, but they are also meant to create internal knowledge about the extent to which retailers comply with the prevailing laws, agreements and instructions. The results from the checks will indicate areas for improvement and possible actions that need to be taken.

Gaming on credit

If there are indications that customers have been allowed to play on credit, the retailers are inspected. If evidence of gaming on credit is uncovered, the partnership with the retailer is immediately terminated. Contracts with two retailers (two) were terminated in 2012 as they had accepted ­gaming on credit.

Events in 2012

  • Launched Svea, a sponsorship programme linked to the Spelkortet customer card, which is aimed at increasing the share of registered gaming.
  • Initiated the planning of an independent review and impact assessment of Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming efforts.
  • Studied Vegas to determine how to strengthen respon­sible gaming efforts.
  • Launched self-assessments in mobile phones. The self-­assessment was developed in partnership with SiLabs­ ­(formerly Spelinstitutet).
  • Launched the responsible gaming app "Spelkollen" (gaming check) – which enables players to monitor their gaming.
  • Launched the "Spela Lagom" game (play in moderation) on Facebook, which is geared toward young men with the aim of encouraging them to think twice about their gaming.
  • Renewed certification in accordance with the European Lotteries’ responsible gaming standard.
  • Introduced new agreements for voluntary bans – the longest ban for gaming on svenskapel.se is now three years.
  • New time frames for voluntary agreements on visitation restrictions at Casino Cosmopol are two months and at least 13 months for an undetermined period.
  • Refined Playscan.
  • Were proactive and a driving force in SPER (Ethical Council of the Gaming Industry) – initiated a joint standard for responsible gaming.
  • Implemented new marketing guidelines.

Priorities ahead of 2013

  • Implement an independent review and impact assessment of Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming efforts.
  • Implement new responsible gaming tools for Vegas aimed at increasing the share of customers with healthy gaming behaviour. The tool gives customers the ability to impose limits on time and money. An information campaign will be conducted in conjunction with the launch.
  • Increase the share of registered gaming and the number of customers with a Spelkortet customer card.
  • Increase the number of customers linked to the PlayscanTM responsible gaming tool.
  • PlayscanTM in mobile phones and on Vegas.
  • Prepare the proposals from the Vegas study.
  • Continue work in SPER.
  • Improve dialogues with gambling addiction associations and treatment centres.
  • Work to implement the Swedish National Audit Office’s recommendations.

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