Pia Granberg is on the Board of the Swedish National Association for Gambling Addicts and of the Association’s division in Stockholm. She believes that Svenska Spel assumes considerable responsibility, but that the company could do more.
What does a gambling addiction association do?
"We operate a self-help group with evening meetings for players and their relatives every week. The operation is somewhat reminiscent of AA meetings at which we present ourselves, tell our stories and discuss the consequences of our gaming. An assistant also works full-time at the association and receives questions from various parties, ranging from social services to the correctional sector."
Do you maintain a healthy dialogue with Svenska Spel?
"Yes, we maintain a healthy dialogue. We receive visits from Svenska Spel quite frequently. They join our meetings and seem genuinely interested in learning more about gambling addiction. I also met the executive management in Visby in 2010 and told them my own story. What we would like the company to do and the actions actually taken by the company do not always coincide, but they are operating a business and we respect that it is difficult to play dual roles."
How do you view Svenska Spel as a gaming company?
"As a former online player, I have had contact with several of the foreign-based online companies and I perceive Svenska Spel as very reliable in terms of responsible gaming. Their approach to responsible gaming is far more substantial than other Swedish companies. However, Svenska Spel was not my first choice as a player since I primarily played online casino."
How would you rate Svenska Spel in terms of responsible gaming?
"They keep a close eye on their retailers through such actions as training courses in responsible gaming and by providing information at the gaming locations. They are also proficient at identifying and revoking the permits of retailers that offer gaming on credit. However, we would like the Vegas VLTs, which are currently available in locations at which alcohol is served, to be redistributed to have a greater presence among gaming retailers. I also believe that the Spelkortet customer card should be expanded to include all products and channels, possibly with the exception of lotteries, to enable players to limit the amount for which they can play."