LeoVegas has moved to strengthen its understanding of and presence in safer and responsible gambling as part of a collaboration with a prominent medical university.
The Stockholm-based igaming and betting operator has partnered with Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Stockholm, launching a four-year research project.
LeoVegas is providing funding and raw data for the search team, which will commence the project in autumn 2022 with an end goal of improving problem gambling identification and prevention.
“Responsible gaming is an important priority for LeoVegas Group,” remarked Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas Group.
“We believe that our industry must take greater responsibility for contributing knowledge and facts about gambling-related problems and learning how to minimise these issues.
“We are proud to be partnering with Karolinska Institutet to carry out this valuable research and hope that decision-makers and the igaming industry will be able to apply the findings in order to support more responsible gambling.’’
The company states that the project forms part of its wider efforts to ‘inform the debate about responsible gambling’ via research and evidence-based discussions centred around reduction of betting-related harm.
LeoVegas has faced its own share of hurdles relating to safer gambling, having been hit with a £1.2m penalty by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) back in August for social responsibility shortcomings.
The operator was tasked with completing the Commission audit to ensure AML and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls – such as customer interactions and financial triggers – were being effectively enforced.
“As researchers at universities, we have a duty to spread knowledge that is useful to society,” said Philip Lindner, Associate Professor and Research Group Leader at Karolinska Institutet.
“This collaboration gives us a unique opportunity to study data that hasn’t previously been available for research. We hope that the collaboration will lead to new ways of identifying and helping players at risk at the earliest possible stage.”
Linder will take the lead on the project with guaranteed academic freedom, with the aim of developing, evaluating and implementing new tools for mapping and treating mental illness.
The research comes ahead of the planned $607m takeover of LeoVegas by MGM Resorts International, a process which will be overseen by Hagman alongside Chairman Gary Fritz and MGM Resorts CEO William Hornbuckle.