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Chairman of Svenska Spel's Research Council

"We have gradually seen better thought-through applications and greater preparedness to think long-term and strategically in this field."

Stefan Borg, Chairman of Svenska Spel's Research Council

Svenska Spel’s Research Council* annually distributes SEK 5 million to research on gambling addiction and treatment. Stefan Borg is the Council’s Chairman. He believes the prerequisites for long-term and independent research have improved significantly, which creates possibilities for an entire industry.

What is the current status of gaming research in Sweden?

“When the Research Council was founded we noted that extremely little Swedish gaming research was being conducted. The Council has contributed to building a long-term structure for research, with scientists who are trained in line with the academic tradition we have in Sweden. We are now supporting six doctoral candidates who are completing their post-graduate research studies. The first will defend the candidate’s thesis in 2015.”

What results have you seen thus far?

“Thus far we have seen partial results from two projects. One ­project studies the psychosocial state of 15-year-olds and how they progress later in life. This is where gaming habits come into the ­picture. The second project looks at the course of events for people who have managed to break a gambling addiction on their own, without treatment. Both represent knowledge that can be extremely valuable when designing future treatments.”

How big is the need for research funding?

“As with all investments, someone is needed to manage the funds and turn them into results. We have gradually seen better thought-through applications and greater preparedness to think long-term and strategically in this field. We are now investigating possibilities for starting strategic collaborations to share resources and thereby gain more value for the money.”

What hopes do you have for the new professorial chair in gaming?

“It is important to have a position that can contribute to creating broad interfaces for contact with the healthcare and social services agencies, which are key actors in the gambling addiction area, both with regard to prevention and treatment. I believe it could function as a catalyst for building clusters and networks of people working in the area.”

How will the research benefit the industry?

“It is up to the industry to utilise the knowledge built up by the researchers – they are an invaluable resource. In the last few years, I have noticed that Svenska Spel has become more receptive to knowledge from outside the organisation, so I believe that they  will be able to use this opportunity.”

* Read more about Svenska Spel’s Research Council here.

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