Svenska Spel’s independent Research Council has granted funding to five new research projects aiming to find ways to better understand and treat gambling addiction, the Swedish gambling operator announced today.
The five projects will be able to share SEK5 million (approx. $532,315) in funds contributed by the Research Council, it also became known.
One of the projects will look to map gambling addiction among Swedish professional ice hockey players. The Research Council has also awarded funds for the development of an Internet-based service for gambling addiction treatment. A third project will research the link between trauma and problem gambling behavior in women.
The council has not revealed details about the two other projects it has agreed to fund this year. More about those as well as about their results will be unveiled on Research Day on October 7, 2019.
Research Day is an initiative organized by Svenska Spel’s Research Council, which annually gathers some of Sweden’s most accomplished gambling addiction researchers to discuss together future solutions for fighting one of the most widespread forms of addiction in the world. The focus of this year’s edition of Research Day will certainly be the recent reorganization of Sweden’s online gambling market and what risks the move has created for vulnerable members of the Scandinavian nation’s population.
Impact on the Public Debate
Commenting on today’s announcement, Sara Lindholm, Chairwoman of the Research Council said that the projects they have selected to fund “have the potential to increase knowledge about gambling addiction.”
Ms. Lindholm added that it has been gratifying to see that the council’s “long-term work to increase knowledge in the area has had an impact on the public debate.”
Svenska Spel Sustainability Manager Scarlett Roa pointed out that the gambling operator being able to develop its social responsibility has been a prerequisite to support activities related to the research of gambling addiction. Ms. Roa further elaborated that through Svenska Spel’s independent Research Council, they want to increase “the knowledge and understanding of gambling problems.”
The Research Council was set up in in 2010 with the aim to gain more knowledge of gambling-related problems and find solutions to treat and prevent these. The council is composed of experienced researchers and people with relevant interests and is tasked with assessing and commissioning research projects that are based on “scientific quality and societal relevance.”
Svenska Spel, the former gambling monopoly in Sweden, has been an active participant in the reorganization of the Swedish market since the beginning of the year. To enter the newly regulated space, the company has launched its own online casino and betting product.
As the debate whether participants in Sweden’s regulated market are doing enough to protect customers has intensified in recent months, Svenska Spel announced recently that it would withdraw all its online casino adverts across all media channels.
The operator said that its decision was prompted by a recent study by Sweden’s Public Health Authority that showed that online casino games presented the greater risk to Swedish gamblers. According to the study, around 30% of all Swedish online casino players found it difficult to curb their gambling habit.
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