As detailed in a statement from Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Swedish gambling operator Svenska Spel, it has been confirmed that the operator would be terminating all forms of online casino advertising.
In the statement, Hofbauer emphasised that the decision to ‘stop online casino advertising across all media channels’ has been made by Svenska Spel’s executive team following ‘intensive internal discussions’.
The move comes as a bid to support the Swedish Health Authority in their campaigns to prevent problem gambling, with the online casino sector considered to be a significant industry outlier according to Hofbauer’s statement.
Pointing to recent Public Health statistics, Hofbauer notes that ‘30% of online casino players detail problems managing their online gaming habits’, a figure that according to the Svenska Spel CEO is notable in comparison to other online gambling verticals.
He added that Swedish gambling helpline ‘Stödlinjens paints a clear picture’ when its 2018 figures demonstrate ‘over 60% of callers indicate online casino as their main source of problems’.
“These are facts that we discussed at Svenska Spel last week and that made us put down our foot. Our online casino advertising already had a restrictive design, but now we choose to completely stop advertising for the rest of the year.”
Overall Swedish Public Health statistics have detailed, however, that overall levels of problem gambling has decreased in the last three years which may result in objections to the Svenska Spel decision.
Concluding his statement. Hofbauer called for Swedish industry leaders to follow in Svenska Spel’s footsteps by setting out advertising limits.
“If you are serious about taking responsibility, then you should address the problems where the problems exist, even if it strikes the revenue in the short term,” he added. “In the long term, this is the only sustainable one. It is also only when we can improve the industry’s reputation.”