Swedish Regulator Focused on Self Exclusion

As gambling companies across many European markets face a tougher operating environment due to growing concerns about customer safety, the Swedish regulator is making a new push to promote one of the country’s main player protection tools.

Spelinspektionen has been one of the most active regulators in Europe when it comes to enforcing regulatory codes, and they have now announced that they will be putting their weight behind a new awareness-raising exercise to promote Spelpaus, Sweden’s self-exclusion scheme.

The scheme was heavily promoted during a major promotional campaign during the summer, which included advertising across social media, online platforms and television. That campaign was focused largely on the customers themselves, and those who may be at risk of gambling harm, but the new advertisements are set to focus on the relatives and friends of problem gamblers, along with those resident in the country for whom Swedish may not be their native language.

The campaign, which is due to run until mid-January next year, will be aimed predominantly at an online audience, and will include banners shown across a variety of different websites, which will promote a total of 13 messages on problem gambling.

Speaking about the new campaign, the Communications Manager at Spelinspektionen, Anders Sims, said that awareness of the self-exclusion tool had increased from 54% in 2019 to 71% this year, but that there was more work to do:

“That’s fine, but it could be even better. Anyone who loses control of their gambling, or for other reasons wants to avoid gambling, should know that there is a good tool offered by Spelinspektionen.”

The campaign’s main substance will be to try to ensure that players are aware of the resources that are available to help them to keep their gambling under control during the Covid-19 pandemic. And the regulator clearly hopes that it will be able to replicated the success of the first campaign which seemed to show results as the number of self-excluding customers in Sweden using the Spelpaus system rose from 52,000 in June this year, to 58,000 by November.

In addition, the Swedish government has also taken further direct action to tackle gambling harm this year. This includes a series of new regulations and controls on the online casino sector, including the introduction of mandatory session limits, a cap on bonuses and a deposit cap. These measures were originally due to expire at the end of the year, but a consultation is currently underway on whether to keep the measures in place until June next year.

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