New insights on gambling addiction and gaming responsibility on Svenska Spel’s research day

Business News

Mandatory gambling responsibilities are more effective than voluntary and to a certain extent it is possible to predict which ones will have continued gambling problems. 

Two of the research findings were presented when Svenska Spel’s independent research council on Monday invited a day on research into gambling addiction and gaming responsibility.

The research day offered a dozen different presentations on the latest research within a young – but very up-to-date – research topic. There were representatives from research, politics, user associations and the gaming industry.

Mandatory bets more effective.
In the new gaming law that was introduced at the turn of the year, several gambling responsibility efforts are prescribed. Philip Lindner, co. Dr. and leg. Psychologist at Stockholm University, presented a study showing that many of these lack evidence of efficacy.

The study also shows that mandatory efforts are more effective than voluntary and that it can be problematic when individual gaming companies introduce effective gaming responsibility measures, as there is a possible channeling of problem gamblers to other gaming companies that do not have the same effective tools for detecting and preventing problem gambling.

Gambling responsibility measures need everyone in the industry to agree. Who really gives effect and which should be put aside? Many gaming companies find that personal contact with the individual has a great effect. The research also needs to clarify this, said Sara Lindholm, chair of the Swedish Games Research Council.

Much of what was presented during the research day meant that Sara Lindholm pointed out that the treatment of problem players must be based on the individual.

Individualized treatment, based on the history of risk and health factors that you carry, is the future.

Can predict continued gambling problems.
Swelogs, one of the world’s most comprehensive long-term population studies on the relationship between games on money and health, has been conducted by the Public Health Agency since 2008. Ulla Romild from the Public Health Agency presented the latest results.

Among other things, the survey shows that more than half of those who exhibited problem gambling in 2018 had no gambling problems, or did not play at all, in 2015.

To a certain extent, it is possible to predict which ones will have continued gambling problems. I thought it was clearer than I expected, Ulla Romild said.

Sara Lindholm commented on the Swelog results: They show, among other things, that younger people have a tendency to move between different levels of risk behavior over time, while older people stay at the same level.

“It could mean that the preventive work should have different focus in different age groups,” said Ulla Romild.

Patrik Hofbauer, President and CEO of Svenska Spel, emphasized that gaming responsibility and research on gambling addiction are two key issues for Svenska Spel.For Svenska Spel, every individual who gets stuck in a gaming addiction is a failure. 

Therefore, we constantly review our products to make them safer and better. The research is a crucial part of our ability to continue to improve, Patrik said.

Svenska Spel established the Research Council in 2010 to increase the knowledge and understanding of gambling problems and how to best prevent these problems. Since then, the Research Council has distributed SEK 5 million each year to research on gambling and preventive measures against gambling problems, a total of more than SEK 40 million. In 2018, Svenska Spel decided to add another SEK 30 million to research.

The Council consists of experienced researchers and representatives from the public interest. They assess applications received on the basis of scientific quality and social relevance. In their work, they are based on the Research Council’s rules of procedure.