The “Swedish Gambling Authority” (Spelinspektionen in Swedish), often abbreviated as “SGA,” is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the gambling industry in Sweden. A recent survey (November 2023) conducted by the SGA in collaboration with research company Enkätfabriken. The survey provides valuable insights into Swedes’ gambling habits and awareness levels. Which is really alarming. This survey not only sheds light on the current state of gambling in Sweden, but also highlights crucial concerns about the lack of awareness surrounding licensed operators. Here’s more about the findings from the survey.
Swedish Gambling Authority Survey Reveals Worrying Trends
According to the data, 75% of Swedish adults gambled in the past year. Moreover, 41% of respondents reported gambling in the last week, an increase from previous surveys conducted in 2022 (38%) and 2021 (34%). This indicates a significant level of involvement in gambling, highlighting its popularity as a leisure activity in the country.
Furthermore, 41% of respondents reported gambling in the last week, demonstrating an increase compared to previous surveys conducted in 2022 (38%) and 2021 (34%). This uptick in recent gambling activity suggests a growing interest in gambling among the Swedish population.
The survey also examined the types of gambling activities that Swedes engage in. Notably, low-risk gambling activities were the most popular, with lotteries leading the way at a staggering 74% participation rate. Trotting (25%), sports betting (15%), and bingo (15%) followed closely behind. Online casinos, while still a minority at 10%, showed growth as well.
However, experts are concerned not just about participation in gambling activities, but also about the evolving nature of the behavior.
Rise in Gambling Harm and Problem Gambling
Approximately 10% of respondents that participated in the survey admitted to feeling that they had gambled excessively in the past year. This indicates a concerning rise in gambling harm rates and suggests that a significant portion of the population may be at risk of developing gambling-related issues.
Moreover, there was an increase in the number of respondents who knew someone experiencing problems with excessive gambling. This underscores the need for better support systems and resources for individuals affected by gambling addiction.
Lack of Awareness About Licensing
Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) has shed light on a concerning issue in the world of online gambling. The study reveals that a staggering 95% of Swedes do not know how to verify if an online gambling operator holds a Swedish license, highlighting a significant lack of awareness in this area.
While the majority of Swedes claim to have probably not played at unlicensed gambling sites in the past year, this statistic is shrouded in uncertainty due to the prevailing lack of knowledge regarding the licensing process. The trend of uncertainty has persisted since the market re-regulation in 2019, raising concerns about communication surrounding licensing matters.
Since January of the previous year, gambling companies are required to possess an SGA license to market their products to Swedish citizens. Licensed operators provide enhanced security and offer tax-free winnings to Swedish players. As a result, it is essential for players to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed operators.
The survey also uncovered a noticeable increase in gambling activity, with participation rising from 60% in 2019 to 66% in 2020. However, a troubling finding is that 81% of these individuals do not know where to seek help for gambling addiction, highlighting the need for increased awareness and support.
For those struggling with gambling addiction or in need of support, Stödlinjen.se is a recommended resource. It provides assistance and guidance to individuals dealing with gambling-related issues.
Challenges for Licensed Operators
Sweden’s online gambling association, Branschföreningen för Onlinespel, has voiced concerns that misguided regulations have made licensed operators less competitive than black-market entities. They have also expressed apprehensions about an impending gambling tax increase. It could further destabilize the country’s gambling market.
The data from the survey underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and education on responsible gambling practices. It calls for better ways to help Swedish gamblers identify licensed sites and understand the benefits of playing on such platforms.
The rising problem gambling rates highlighted in the survey indicate a pressing need for the government to reevaluate its policies. To prevent gambling-related harm, players must have access to reliable information and support services.
Experts recommend visiting Stödlinjen.se, a platform that offers guidance and support for individuals struggling with gambling addiction. This resource can be a lifeline for those in need of assistance and intervention.
The Swedish Gambling Authority’s survey reveals worrying trends in gambling awareness and behavior in Sweden. The lack of knowledge regarding licensing and the rise in problem gambling rates call for immediate action. Players need better education and information about the advantages of playing on licensed sites.
Creating a safer and more secure gambling environment in Sweden requires a concerted effort from both regulators and industry stakeholders.