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Director General of the Public Health Agency of Sweden

"Svenska Spel has worked actively with responsible gaming measures for the last few years and made substantial progress."

Johan Carlson, Director General of the Public Health Agency of Sweden

Johan Carlson is the Director General of the Public Health Agency of Sweden. He asserts that knowledge is key to developing the treatment and prevention of gambling addiction and believes in a continuing ­valuable exchange of knowledge with Svenska Spel. 

What is the role of the Public Health Agency of Sweden?

“Our assignment is to follow developments in gaming and gaming problems in society. We are also tasked with stimulating the development and evaluation of preventive methods and spreading knowledge. The Help Line was our initiative and we support various ­gambling addiction associations.”

What is Svenska Spel’s role in society?

“Svenska Spel has an extremely important role. We need a large state-owned company that can concurrently provide games in an exciting and responsible manner. Svenska Spel has worked actively with responsible gaming measures for the last few years and made substantial progress. It has been active with tangible measures and driven issues in a positive manner.”

What more could Svenska Spel do?

“If it was up to me, I would like them to work even more with independent, scientific evaluations of responsible gaming tools. There are many indications that they have an impact, but it would be ­worthwhile being able to show this even more clearly than at present.”

What contact do you have with Svenska Spel?

“The most important contact is probably sharing knowledge. We have a representative on Svenska Spel’s Research Council and we have held presentations for the Company’s Group management. One platform where we have become more active is the Independent Gaming ­Collaboration (Oberoende Spelsamverkan or OSS). This includes us, the Swedish Gambling Authority, the Swedish National Association for Gambling Addicts and those companies with permits to provide games for monetary gain. Moving forward, we would like to work together with in-depth analysis of gaming and gaming problems.”

What priorities do you have in the nearest future?

“2015 will be full of activities. We are just concluding a data collection program in Swelogs – a population study that investigates the connection between gaming and health. The next step will be to build an opinion from the analysis of what characterises players and what risks exist. Thereafter, we will submit proposals to the Government for a ­follow-up. We will also develop and evaluate preventive methods and allocate project funds. We are continuing our work with telephone and internet-based support as well as spreading knowledge online.”

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