Swedish state-owned gambling operator Svenska Spel has strengthened its commitment to tackling match-fixing by rolling out a new digital education initiative across 2,328 football clubs.
The aim of the initiative is to offer both athletes and football associations a greater understanding of the risks associated with match-fixing.
The scheme, which includes information on spotting signs of problem gambling, has been rolled out to the clubs affiliated with Svenska Spel’s sponsorship project Gräsroten.
“Athletes, who often live close to the game, are a clear risk group for suffering from gambling problems,” said Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Svenska Spel.
“Research shows that athletes, who often live near the game, are a clear risk group for suffering from gambling problems. Therefore, in our cooperation agreements with the Swedish Sports Federation, we have investments in just gaming responsibility. This is such an important investment.”
Johan Claesson, integrity officer at the Swedish Football Association, added: “Match-fixing is one of the biggest threats to football, and unfortunately we have recently seen signs that criminal forces have wanted to influence the outcome of matches at a very low level.
“This is something that we are very distant from, and that our main sponsor Svenska Spel is now taking the initiative to quickly train thousands of football players in the lower divisions in the subject of match-fixing, we think is very good. With more knowledge, it is easier to say no.”
During 2020, debate in Sweden has continued in relation to Football restrictions and legal definitions attached to classifying amateur and junior level events.
The leadership of Swedish betting and sports have asked national gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen to clarify ‘grey areas’ attached to football wagering, as part of further Swedish gambling reforms intended this year.
Kajsa Nylander, sustainability manager at Svenska Spel, emphasised that it is of growing importance for Sweden’s football associations to gain a thorough understanding of the topics.
Nylander concluded: “Recently presented this year’s Sustainable Brand Index, Europe’s largest independent brand study focusing on sustainability. It clearly shows that the gaming industry has a decent uphill when it comes to the confidence of the Swedish people.