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5 questions for Anitra Steen

The Swedish gaming regulations are again a topic of interest. What is happening?

“The new Government has announced that it will review the possibility of introducing a licensing system to the Swedish gaming market. In parallel, the European Commission has decided to refer Sweden to the European Court of Justice regarding online poker and sports games. It is positive that the issue is being addressed so that we can reach a final and sustainable solution because existing gaming regulations do not work as intended.”

Can you describe Svenska Spel’s strategy?

“The strategy is based on the mission of channelling ­customers to Svenska Spel and promoting a responsible gaming market. To succeed with this, we are focusing on experiences and responsibility. We need to have an attractive offering if customers are to choose to play with us. But our offering must be balanced by social responsibility, how we provide and market the products, and the tools we offer to enable customers to control their gaming.”

What does sustainability mean for Svenska Spel?

“Our most important contribution to sustainable development comprises our targeted efforts to promote a responsible gaming market. We are the primary tool for Swedish gaming policy, which aims to reduce gaming problems in society. Gaming is linked to risks for corruption and money laundering, and a significant market for illegal gaming. Our mission of channelling gaming is a key part of countering this. Naturally, as a state-owned company our actions should be exemplary even from other sustainability aspects, such as gender equality and the environment, but that is not the area where we can have most impact nor where our most significant sustainability risks are.”

What is the greatest challenge moving forward?

“The previous Government had a clear agenda aimed at strengthening existing regulations. The new Government’s announcement that it would establish a licensing system means increased uncertainty regarding the choice of future direction. Leading the Company given this uncertainty and continuing the work that we have started will be the major challenge for the Management, the Board and myself as Chairman.”

What are you most pleased with at Svenska Spel?

“We have made substantial progress in improving respon­sible gaming. Revenue is declining, which we have been well aware of, but viewed as necessary to build for the long-term. It is gratifying that our owner, the Swedish Government, considers it a price it is willing to pay for a healthier gaming market. It confirms that we are on the right path and I am convinced that whatever regulations will apply on the gaming market in the future, we will set a standard for running gaming operations in Sweden.”

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