Svenska Spel halts online casino ads

Svenska Spel halts online casino ads

Svenska Spel has decided to halt advertising of its online casino products for the remainder of this year amid concerns about increases in problem gambling.

Published 9th April 2019

The operator, Sweden’s former gambling monopoly, opted to curtail advertising across all channels following internal discussions last week.

“Svenska Spel has always pushed the line that all the games in the licensed market risk should be classified based on risk levels, and that stricter rules should apply for the more risky games, both in terms of design and marketing,” the operator’s chief executive, Patrik Hofbauer, said. “By ending advertising for online casino, we are now taking the plunge.”

Hofbauer cited a Swedish Public Health Authority survey on problem gambling and addiction, which suggested that 30% of gaming machine and casino players struggle to manage their gambling. The survey also revealed that 60% of problem gamblers indicated online casino was their preferred method of gambling.

“These are facts that we discussed at Svenska Spel last week and that made us put our foot down,” Hofbauer said. “Our online casino advertising already had a restrictive design, but now we have chosen to completely stop advertising for the rest of the year.”

He also called on other Swedish licensees to follow Svenska Spel’s lead and stop advertising their services in a market that opened up at the start of the year.

The country’s gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, has already taken steps to crack down against excessive advertising and has issued retrospective fines to some brands.