Date: 05.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Swedish Gambling Authority Launches New Campaign to Combat Gambling Harm Among Young Adults

On 3 June, the Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) unveiled its latest initiative, “With Your Future at Stake,” a campaign designed to address the growing issue of gambling harm among young adults aged 18-25. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the consequences of unhealthy and risky gambling behaviors, channel users toward regulated offerings, and inform gamblers of various help resources.

Young People Are Especially Vulnerable

The campaign employs straightforward and concrete language to resonate with young people, focusing on the real-life impacts of problem gambling. Recognizing that digital platforms are where young adults spend much of their time, the campaign will prominently feature in various online channels frequented by this demographic. Additionally, Spelinspektionen has launched a dedicated website with resources for those seeking help.

Yvonne Hejdenberg, head of communications at the Spelinspektionen, noted that the campaign would appeal to young people’s emotions, informing them about the consequences of gambling harm and its devastating impacts. Hejdenberg hoped “With Your Future at Stake” would resonate with a broader audience, helping spread this vital information.

“We believe that the campaign will also be able to speak to adults, especially parents or relatives of children in the target group,” said Yvonne Hejdenberg, Spelinspektionen head of communications.

Addressing the Long-term Risks of Early Gambling

Research indicates that starting to gamble at an early age significantly increases the risk of developing gambling problems later in life. The Swedish Gambling Authority is collaborating with the Swedish Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Crown Prosecutor to address this issue, hoping to mitigate the negative consequences of gambling among young people through a coordinated and comprehensive effort.

A Broader Strategy to Protect Users

This campaign is part of a broader strategy by Spelinspektionen to protect users from gambling harm. In May, the authority advocated for a ban on using credit cards in gambling. Camilla Rosenberg, director general of Spelinspektionen, stated that the regulator believes the ban should encompass all forms of gambling. The authority also proposed the ability to grant exceptions in specific cases to ensure flexibility and fairness.

The Swedish trade association BOS had previously criticized the measure, arguing that it could severely impact the legal gambling market. While acknowledging these concerns, the regulator noted there was no official evidence on how the measure would specifically affect operators selling tickets digitally and maintained its enduring focus on player safety.

Emphasizing Safe and Responsible Gambling

The “With Your Future at Stake” campaign represents a significant step forward in Sweden’s efforts to protect young adults from the dangers of gambling. Spelinspektionen hopes to create a safer environment for the country’s youth and foster a greater understanding of the risks associated with gambling. The authority also hopes the campaign will inform users about the dangers of black market operators, helping them gamble safely and responsibly.