Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling inspectorate, has published new guidance on ‘Duty of Care’ requirements which licensees must provide to customers.
All Swedish licensed operators must ensure Spelinspektionen that they have prepared an “action plan on how duty of care is to be fulfilled”.
Duty of Care requirements are outlined in Chapter 14 of the Gambling Act 2018, in which all licence holders must ensure operating procedures to protect players against excessive gambling.
As such, Licensee action plans must record engagements with troubled individuals and the operator’s efforts to reduce their gambling.
Responding to feedback from licensees, the inspectorate has reviewed its existing guidance on “the design of the action plan and work outlined by operators to protect customers”.
Licensees are warned that Spelinspektionen’s “guidance is not exhaustive” and that it remains the responsibility of operators to determine signs of excessive gambling and when to interact with troubled players.
New guidance sees Spelinspektionen simplify the criteria of the action plan, by requiring operators to detail “indicators of problem gambling” and to “provide a framework” on how duty-of-care procedures have been undertaken.
Action plans should recognise indicators of harm such as – the number of games players, session times, increased deposit limits, player age and interrupted withdrawals.
Should customer care teams be engaged, the inspectorate recommends that operators document examples of players chasing losses, threatening behaviour or the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Licensee frameworks must reference “what measures are to be taken and also who is to take the measures need to be stated in the licensee’s action plan.”
As such, frameworks must outline how the customer was engaged with and what advice was provided by customer care teams to limit abuse – providing “examples of such information could be a reference to the Support Line for players and relatives or a support organization in the local area.”
Further duties will require operators to report on restrictions to the player’s account and access to the platform, website or venues should a customer show clear signs of problem gambling.
Spelinspektionen concluded, “The work with the duty of care is about ensuring social and health considerations by identifying signs of excessive gambling and acting when such occur.”
“For players to have the protection that the legislation requires, it is important that licensees identify important aspects of how the duty of care can be applied in their own business.”