Svenska Spel against illegal gaming machines
Svenska Spel takes a serious effort to ensure that no illegal gaming machines are available at their agents. This is a big job, but Svenska Spel is on track according to Hakan Sjöstrand, director of Svenska Spel.
Svenska Spel Vegas Slots is the only slot machines that legally may be set up for games in Sweden. But Vegas is far from the only machine on the market. The kiosks, video stores, petrol stations and at many other locations across the country there are thousands of illegal slot machines that turn over millions each year.
How many illegal slot machines there are in Sweden is, of natural causes, unknown. A survey conducted by the Gaming Board in 2004 put the number at 3 000 till 5 000. It is likely that the number has not decreased since then.
Illegal slot machines
Svenska Spel store agents are frequently canvassed by exhibitors of illegal machines.
– Often, they say that the machines are legal and are using various more or less far-fetched arguments to prove this. If any exhibitor against all odds, have found a temporary loophole in the law it does not matter to us. The intention behind the law is crystal clear – no other machines than Vegas is permissible. The holder of a gaming machine without permission will be reported to the police routinely by the Gaming Board and in our agreements with agents a suspicion of crime is sufficient reason for dismissal, “said Hakan Sjöstrand, director of the Swedish game.
– To have illegal gaming machines without a permit in a store are simply not serious and in no way compatible with the requirements and aspirations we have for our responsible gaming efforts.
In October, Svenska Spel informed all agents of the company’s approach to non-authorized slot machines. This information has since been followed up with checks out at the agents.
– We are working methodically and are consistent in our actions. When we get there in 13 weeks, we have carried out checks on about 2 800 delegates. The agents where we find illegal vending machines receive a “warning letter”, explaining that they must remove their machines if they want to remain the Svenska Spel Game Agent. Thereafter, the agest has three weeks to remove the illegal machines. It is evident that many agents do not understand that the machines they have had was illegal.
Through Week 7, controls of 1783 agents have been made, at 130 of these illegal slot machines were found. Only four agents that received the letter from Svenska Spel have chosen not to remove the machines – these agents have therefore been terminated as Svenska Spel agents.
– Our agents are very positive about the measures. Svenska Spel’s ambition is to be a world leader in gaming, that our game environments will not allow illegal gambling is a matter of course. Our work with responsible gaming is largely supported by our representatives, of the chains and trade associations we work with. They recognize just like we do that an effective responsible gaming is a prerequisite for long-term success in the gaming market.
Earlier this autumn, the police have successfully acted against illegal gaming machines at several locations around the country.
– It is very positive and reinforces our conviction that what we do is important both for Svenska Spel, our agents and to society at large.