SBC News Swedish addiction support charity calls for quick loans intervention 

Swedish addiction support charity calls for quick loans intervention 

Spelberoendegruppen, Sweden’s non-profit organisation providing gambling addiction support services, has urged the government to implement ‘wider safeguards’ to protect national consumers from further gambling risks. 

The call was led by Spelberoendegruppen Chairman Omid Rezvani, speaking to public broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT), in which he relayed the charity’s concerns with regards to ‘the marketing of online slots’ and that addicts could access ‘quick SMS loans to continue gambling’.

Rezvani stated that the above concerns had been put forward as the most pressing matters by gambling addicts participating in Spelberoendegruppen group support meetings.

During the second half of 2021, the Swedish government will re-evaluate the advertising laws and standards of Sweden’s reformed Gaming Act, in which the Riksdag (Parliament) has been advised to implement a ‘stricter moderation of content’, lowering the coverage of gambling adverts across Swedish broadcast and media networks.

The advertising review forms part of ‘stage two of the government’s regulatory approach on gambling – in which policy development and insights have been led by the ‘Gambling Market Inquiry’ (‘Spelmarknadsutredningen’) revised and put forward by Social Democrat MP Anna-Lena Sörenson.

Spelberoendegruppen stated that it would support further restrictions on the advertising of slots and games of chance, limiting exposure to the market’s most high-risk elements.

The market inquiry report primarily focused on reviewing advertising standards and whether the government should impose ‘further centralised controls’ regulating Sweden’s reformed gambling sector.

However, Rezvani stated to SVT that the inquiry had missed its opportunity to examine ‘SMS loans that can be taken out quickly for gambling purposes’.

Spelberoendegruppen has urged the government to take direct action on excluding all access to quick loans by players registered on Spelpaus – the national gambling self-exclusion registry.  

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