Svenska Spel finds youth problem gambling cut after deposit limits

| By Richard Mulligan
Svenska Spel has found problem gambling among young people cut by two thirds since introducing new deposit restrictions for teenage players at the start of 2022.

Sweden’s state-owned gaming and lottery operator said risky gaming behaviour among 18-19 years olds is now at just 3% of that age category since it took steps to limit their total deposits to SEK 1,000 per month from January.

Svenksa Spel added that since lowering the limit, the proportion of 18- and 19-year-olds that reach the new maximum deposit limit has also fallen, from 21% to 14%. The focus on young adults has also meant that the number of completed self-tests in the group has increased by 71% in 2021 compared with 2020.

The limits are part of Svenska Spel’s Spelkoll Plus (“Game check plus”) programme, which is designed to assist young people as they may have low incomes and may not fully appreciate the serious consequences of playing for money.

Kajsa Nylander, Svenska Spel’s head of sustainability, said: “We thought that the measures would have an effect, but that the effect would be so great we had hardly dared to hope for.

“SpelkollPlus also means that we prioritise young adults in preventive conversations. Here, the young customers are contacted by a specially trained care communicator who, among other things, gives personal advice on how they can set limits for their gambling.”

Svenska Spel also earlier this year introduced new limits for customers aged between 20-24. It now does an income check for those who want a deposit limit of SEK 5,000 a month or more.

Last month, Svenska Spel updated its behaviour monitoring solution Playscan – which has been rebranded as Min Spelkoll (“My game check”).

Svenska Spel’s update of the tool to analyse customer’s gaming behaviour and identify risky gaming patterns comes 15 years after Playscan was launched in 2007.

The launch of the newly rebranded Min Spelkoll tool follows the introduction of mandatory player cards earlier this year, with account-based play allowing for a greater range of data being collected.

The operator said it prevents harmful gambling by identifying where limits are exceeded, and subsequently forcing a game break and follow-up customer care.

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