Swedish lottery and gaming operator Svenska Spel has set aside an additional SEK42.0m (£3.3m/€4.0m/$4.0m) to fund problem gambling research over the next five years.
The operator has spent more than SEK60m on research projects since establishing its own independent Research Council in 2010, with the latest pledge taking its total commitment to over SEK100m.
Svenska Spel’s Research Council has carried out studies in partnership with Lund University, and the latest funding announcement means this collaboration will continue until at least 2027.
Of the latest commitment, SEK8.5m will be spent on research each year over the next five years, with SEK25.0m of the total amount to be used for research grants.
“The Research Council has been a driving force and a central part in establishing the research field around gambling problems in Sweden,” Svenska Spel’s president and chief executive Patrik Hofbauer said.
“There are still many unanswered questions about how best to prevent and treat gambling addiction. With that in mind, our continued support feels right both from a business and a humanitarian perspective.”
Research Council chairwoman Sara Lindholm added: “Social community efforts and addiction care need the right tools at the right time. The long-term investment in research on gambling contributes to knowledge of effective methods for preventing and treating gambling addiction.
“To develop the right interventions for those who need it most requires patience, commitment and research at the forefront.”
The funding comes after Hofbauer in June hit out at Sweden’s model of restaurant casinos, arguing they operate “almost without rules and control”.
Hofbauer made remarks on Svenska Spel’s corporate blog where he criticised the separate rules that restaurant casinos enjoy in the country, as well as the resulting lack of official data – which he says has implications for both addicts and money launderers.
Restaurant casinos are casinos at premises with liquor licences. While Svenska Spel has a monopoly on regular casinos through its Casino Cosmopol brand, operators can offer table games at these locations.