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Optimal responsibility

TARGET AREA, RESPONSIBILITY

Svenska Spel should take a leading position regarding ­responsible gaming. In Svenska Spel’s image survey, the company is ranked number one among the gaming companies in Sweden in the area of responsible gaming.

Optimal responsibility

Svenska Spel is tasked with providing gaming in a responsible and secure manner and minimising the negative consequences of the company’s products. The mandate includes offering gaming forms that can be assessed as risky if this will counter illegal gaming in uncontrolled forms. Svenska Spel wants to be the unique gaming company that applies concrete measures which demonstrate that responsibility is prioritised over profit and, thereby, contributes to a more sustainable gaming market. Svenska Spel’s vision is that gaming is for everyone’s enjoyment.

Responsible gaming efforts play a key role in Svenska Spel’s operations and the company works continuously to develop responsible gaming tools and to spread awareness. Customers must perceive responsibility as part of the total experience. Many customers choose to play Svenska Spel’s products because they are perceived as being secure and reliable.

The market trend with unregulated gaming companies driven by profit means an increasing risk of an unhealthy gaming market. Accordingly, the significance of the comprehensive approach to social protection considerations taken by Svenska Spel are even more important.

Svenska Spel is certified according to the responsible gaming standards of the European Lotteries and the World Lottery Associations. The standards are based on two frameworks that ensure a solid base for responsible gaming work. Read more. 

Targets

Svenska Spel should set the gaming market standard and take a leading position regarding responsible gaming. The company’s actions have a real impact on problem gaming and sustainability related to Svenska Spel’s operations as well as among the general public. Responsible gaming efforts should bolster Svenska Spel’s long-term competitiveness through ­positively impacting the experience, image and CSI.

Svenska Spel will measure the effect of its responsible gaming initiatives through the following: Customer stability, meaning that Svenska Spel has a significantly more stable customer database than other operators and through the Responsible gaming image, meaning follow-up of the Swedish people’s perception of Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming initiatives.

The aim is for Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming efforts to serve as a role model and contribute to driving development toward a healthy gaming market.

Target fulfilment in 2013

In Svenska Spel’s quarterly image survey, the company is ranked number one among the gaming companies in Sweden in the area of responsible gaming; some 40% (36) of the ­Swedish people believe that Svenska Spel lives up to its responsibility for reducing gambling addiction, and the closest other operator has 22% (18).

Being perceived as responsible is important, but showing that responsible gaming has an impact is crucial. Accordingly, an independent examination of Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming measures was started in 2013 with the aim of measuring the effects. Svenska Spel has also started radical measures to strengthen responsible gaming to better correspond with customers’ and other stakeholders’ expectations.

Independent examination of responsible gaming measures

Increased knowledge of the effects of existing and new re­­sponsible gaming tools is a prerequisite for advancing responsible gaming in the right direction. However, there is limited research available about the effects of various responsible gaming measures. Therefore, as a key element of this work, an independent examination and measurement of the effects of Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming measures was started in 2013 by the company Ramböll. To date, results show that the majority of the company’s measures are relevant, but implementation can be improved by greater adaption of the measures to the products’ risks in the different channels.

xMeasurement of the effects was carried out with the responsible gaming tool on VLTs, online games and Casino Cosmopol in 2013. The aim of the measurements is to measure and evaluate the effect of the tool.

Development of a consistent approach to responsible gaming

In 2013, Svenska Spel took a comprehensive grip on the company’s approach to responsible gaming to create a stronger and more consistent approach that would be applied across operations and which better lived up to society’s expectations.

The new responsible gaming approach builds on a combination of a general and an adapted approach. Responsible gaming must be based on the different risks for problem gaming with each gaming form. Mandatory registration will be implemented for all gaming except paper lottery tickets and games at Casino Cosmopol (all visitors to Casino Cosmopol are registered on entry). Through simple functions, customers can themselves keep track of their gaming and exclude themselves at all of Svenska Spel’s sales channels, which is a possibility that was not previously available.

To further strengthen the responsible gaming offering, ­Svenska Spel will provide more detailed training to selected employees at the company’s customer service. Customers and relatives can make contact for personal service and advice about risky gaming, responsible gaming tools and referrals for professional help. After receiving the customer’s consent, Svenska Spel’s customer service will also act proactively to ­contact customers in cases of risky gaming.

Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming goals moving forward

Svenska Spel wants to raise the responsible gaming goals and implement a consistent and more specific responsible gaming approach. The goal is to implement a responsible gaming programme for all forms of gaming that is based on the gaming forms’ various risk levels and customers’ gaming behaviour, similar to the way Svenska Spel currently works with poker. Poker is a high-risk product, where it is mandatory for customers to set levels in terms of budget and time.

Svenska Spel’s responsible gaming measures must be consistent while retaining the same high degree of adaptation in terms of the individual and the gaming experience. The implementation of obligatory game registration is a ­prerequisite for this. The registration will allow Svenska Spel to adapt communication and the responsible gaming tool to enable customers to make an informed choice.

The adjacent image provides a schematic model of ­Svenska Spel’s aims for applying a consistent and more ­specific responsible gaming approach moving forward. The risk assessment is a combination of the individual game’s risk level and the customer’s gaming behaviour. Red indicates a high risk of developing risky gaming practices, yellow ­indicates a moderate risk and green a low risk.

In common with the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Svenska Spel uses a recognised measurement method (PGSI*) as a source to measure actual problem gaming with the aim of following up the actual effect of responsible gaming measures.

* Problem Gambling Severity Index

Responsibility when developing games

Svenska Spel must apply caution in the development of new games and in the composition of its overall gaming offering. This means, 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 uses the GAM-GaRD tool, which was developed by researchers. The tool is compulsory in Svenska Spel’s 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 illustration Responsibility when developing games.

Svenska Spel also has an internal Ethical Council with representatives from different parts of the company. The Council focuses on gaming-related issues, such as marketing and games as well as how the company wishes to be perceived by customers, owners, employees and other stakeholders.

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 and moderate in focus and designed to minimise the risk of excessive gaming.

Nor should marketing be perceived as too assertive, mis­leading or including false information about the odds of winning. Marketing is adapted to the games’ risks, which means that the company does not market, or applies extreme restrictions to the marketing of, higher risk games, such as online bingo, Vegas, casino games and online poker. In 2013, Svenska Spel decided to remove all forms of discounts and bonus offerings on games. In addition, initiatives are implemented based on information and training about gaming risks and the responsible gaming tools available.

Marketing was further tightened in 2013, with measures including the following:

  • Application of particular caution when marketing jackpots
  • Inclusion of the Help Line number with all marketing
  • A complete restriction on online marketing with links to the company’s website
  • No outdoor marketing of casinos.

Training in responsible gaming

Svenska Spel continuously trains employees, retailers and business partners in responsible gaming. During the year, Svenska Spel’s Board completed a responsible gaming course. 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.

In 2013, 3,992 people at 1,534 business partners/retailers completed an updated responsible gaming course. The training included realistic scenarios and questions. At least one individual with each business partner/retailer should complete the training course. New employees and business partners/retailers are trained on an ongoing basis.

Svenska Spel offers a special responsible gaming 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.

Svenska Spel also offers interactive training for all employees. This training is obligatory and must be completed upon recruitment. The training course includes information about problem gaming, responsible marketing and product development. The personnel at Casino Cosmopol also receive tuition in responsible gaming as well as having annual workshops on this theme.

In 2013, Svenska Spel developed several new target-group tailored training courses including the responsible gaming tool Playscan and product development according to the GAM-GaRD tool.

Information to players

Information about risky gaming and where customers and ­relatives can turn to in the event of problems is available at all gaming locations (retailers, business partners, online, mobile phones and casinos). In 2013, the “Myths about gaming and game risks” information campaign was carried out aimed at increasing awareness about the Vegas games and improper gaming behaviour.

Additional information is accessible on Svenska Spel’s website under the heading “Spela Lagom” (play in moderation) which is targeted at players, relatives and employers with the aim of spreading awareness of the games’ risks. During the year, a new interactive game was launched on Facebook to reach younger players with the message to play in moderation, since this group is at greatest risk of developing problem gaming.

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