Interview with Anitra Steen, Chairman
Anitra Steen, Chairman
What was the most important event in 2015 for Svenska Spel?
The most important event for Svenska Spel was the consolidation of obligatory registration of gaming and that the process has gone smoothly. Obligatory registration has given Svenska Spel a stable, necessary platform for continued development of responsible gaming. We can also see that registration has not resulted in a major loss of customers, but instead, that the vast majority have decided to remain with Svenska Spel. I see this as a sign that our customers appreciate the Company’s social responsibility profile.
The decision from the government regarding an overview of the gaming policy is naturally the single external event that will have a major impact on Svenska Spel.
What are your views about the investigative committee appointed for new gaming regulations?
We respect the policy decision that has prompted our owner to appoint a committee to propose how a license market is to be realised. Personally, I feel it is unfortunate since our gaming policy has been good for Swedish customers, both because our offerings have been strong, but also because these have stemmed from a social responsibility perspective. It is positive that the committee clearly highlights the issue of responsible gaming and customer protection in a licensed market.
What will Svenska Spel’s role look like in the new gaming market?
It is too early to speculate on what the market will look like and how many will apply for licenses. But, against the background of Svenska Spel’s thorough work and its investigations to improve responsible gaming, I believe that the Company can be a role model for the committee’s investigation. Particularly given the fact that customer protection and responsibility are so evidently underscored in the directive to the committee. This should also benefit Svenska Spel in the changeover to a licensed market.
What is the greatest challenge and opportunity for Svenska Spel ahead of 2016?
The most important thing for Svenska Spel is that the Company has the opportunity to offer online casino games in a considerably more responsible manner than these games are offered today. Online casino gaming is the single-largest gaming form and, presently only offered by unregulated gaming companies. It is part of Svenska Spel’s mandate to channel demand for games from these companies to Svenska Spel. It is also a crucial issue of credibility for the owner if they feel that Svenska Spel is to accomplish its mandate until such time that the gaming policy is restructured. The greatest opportunity lies in the fact that Svenska Spel has a very popular offering that we will continue to develop and harness the strength of. We must also preserve responsible gaming and the positive effect it has on our image, so that our customers can continue to feel that we are a secure and reliable gaming Company.