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Four questions for Anitra Steen, Chairman

Can you tell us about the new sustainability goals formulated by Svenska Spel’s Board?

In 2011, the government gave us a reformulated mandatethat clarified Svenska Spel’s role based on a consumer protection perspective. Since then we have worked with developing Svenska Spel’s strategy for objectifying and developing responsibility, operations and the offering. It is about meeting the demands of the mandate and making a difference in other words, about providing and offering games that are designed responsibly but still provide recreation andentertainment.

As part of ensuring that we are on the right path, we have formulated sustainability goals based on this ambition. The goals are long-term and will be followed up, discussed and revised each year. The idea is that our principal and the general public will be able to see Svenska Spel take the assignment seriously and that, in the end, we contribute to reducing or limiting gaming problems in society.

What are the implications of the government’s ­statement that no re-regulation of the gaming market is likely in the near future?

To be able to safeguard the gaming regulations we have in Sweden, Svenska Spel must be given the necessary conditions to be able to function as a good tool for this purpose. The statement that no re-regulation is coming gave us clear conditions and the space to focus on developing our strategy. An even clearer signal was sent by the fact that a commission will be appointed to review the ban on advertising, which is an area of the regulations with clear weaknesses. If the regulations are to be effective, the scope of sanctions for breaches of the ban need to be reinforced.

What are the implications for Swedish gaming policy of the European Commission being ready to resume treaty infringement cases against Sweden?

The European Commission has questioned whether the Swedish gaming regulations comply with the EU treaties. I view this as an opportunity for Sweden to argue the case for gaming regulations. If we do this well, I am convinced that the Commission will realise that the regulations are in place to protect consumers. From Svenska Spel’s side, we will utilise the opportunity to contribute to the arguments that Sweden must present.

What do you see as the next challenges for Svenska Spel?

I see two primary challenges for Svenska Spel. The most important is that we start working in line with the strategic plan and toward the sustainability goals we have formulated, and that we will hopefully see the effects and results of this work in 2014. The second is about convincing the EU that Swedish gaming legislation lives up to its purpose.

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