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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 customer protection and/or preventive respon­sible gaming tools.

Responsible marketing

Svenska Spel has its own marketing guidelines, but also ­follows the guidelines from SPER (Ethical Council of the ­Gaming Industry) and the responsible gaming standards set by European Lotteries and the World Lottery Associations. Svenska Spel’s guidelines stipulate that marketing must be responsible and moderate in focus and designed to minimise the risk of excessive gaming. A key aim of Svenska Spel’s marketing is to steer gaming from the unregulated market to the regulated market.

Marketing should be profiled to be socially responsible and not be perceived as too assertive, misleading or including false information about the odds of winning. It should facilitate customers to make conscious and informed choices.

Marketing is adapted to the games’ risks, which means that the Company never markets or applies extreme restrictions to 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. Svenska Spel also has an internal Ethical Council with representatives from different parts of the Company.

The Council advises on ethical issues and focuses on ­marketing issues as well as how the Company wishes to be perceived by customers, owners, employees and other stakeholders.

Svenska Spel adapts its marketing in line with customers’ wishes and the risk level of the game. In conjunction with registration, a new customer at Svenska Spel can choose the type of marketing/information that the Company is ­permitted to send to the customer and, accordingly, can choose to deselect marketing if unwanted.

Among other things, the Swedish Gambling Authority’s terms for marketing, which were further tightened in 2014, mean that:

  • Direct mail is not permitted without express permission from the customer.
  • A complete restriction on online marketing with links to the Company’s website where the games are available.
  • Application of particular caution when marketing Jackpots.
  • Inclusion of the Help Line phone number with all ­marketing.
  • Marketing of games in the checkout queue at food retailers is not permitted. However, neutral, non-sales-driving messages are permitted.
  • No outdoor marketing is permitted for Casino Cosmopol other than on the actual casino venues.

In the autumn of 2014, the Swedish Gambling Authority, which examines marketing activities, criticised Svenska Spel for not living up to the more stringent conditions. Many of the cases named were because Svenska Spel had not included the Help Line number with online advertising and on Facebook.

A number of the cases referred to were attributable to the fact that the new permits entered force on 1 July 2013 and the inspection took place in the same month, which did not give Svenska Spel sufficient time to adjust certain units in line with the new rules.

Since the introduction of the rules, Svenska Spel has pursued an active dialogue with the Swedish Gambling Authority regarding interpretation and compliance in the design of Svenska Spel’s advertising. Dialogue will continue with the Swedish Gambling Authority and, in parallel, Svenska Spel is informing its employees about what actually applies.

Award winning responsible gaming campaign

At the European Lotteries’ Responsible Gaming Seminar in Florence in October 2014, Svenska Spel’s contribution won the Best Responsible Gaming Campaign category with the film “Age Limit 18.” This was the first time that European ­Lotteries arranged this kind of responsible gaming seminar.

75 participants from around Europe saw nine entries from, among others, Veikkaus, Norsk Tipping and Française des Jeux and, thereafter, voted for one entry, which was won by Svenska Spel.

Training in responsible gaming

Svenska Spel continuously trains employees, retailers and business partners in responsible gaming. All new retailers and business partners undergo responsible gaming training that includes information on the risks of gaming, where players can turn for help and the importance of age verification. Obligatory registration was given a natural focus in relation to and in training retailers and business partners during the year.

In 2014, almost 21,400 people at slightly more than 4,100 business partners/retailers underwent responsible gaming training, read more here. Responsibility issues have been allocated more space in the course, which also focuses on the problems of match fixing. From 2014, Svenska Spel has a target of certifying all game retailers, certificates will be awarded on passing a test at the end of the course. A separate training initiative has been made aimed at business partners in restaurants and bingo halls, where Svenska Spel’s Vegas VLTs are installed. A new development in 2014, is that one member of each shift must have completed the Company’s responsible gaming course.

Svenska Spel has in-depth responsible gaming courses for internal target groups. The training courses include information about gaming problems, responsible marketing and product development. The managers are informed and receive continuous training in responsible gaming via the managers’ forum. The personnel at Casino Cosmopol also receives tuition in responsible gaming as well as annual workshops on this theme.

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