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BOS op-ed: “Svenska Spel’s betting company must be sold by the state”

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Dagens Nyheter – Sweden’s largest morning paper – today published an op-ed signed Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General of The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling. Hoffstedt is urging the government to sell the betting and online casino part of the governmental gambling operator Svenska Spel.

We are pleased to bring you the English version of the editorial which you can read in full below:

Sell Svenska Spel

Since 2019, Sweden has had a licensing system for gambling companies. Anyone who wants to operate in the Swedish gambling market must have a state license. As of 2019, there are two types of gambling markets; partly a monopoly that mainly offers lotteries, for example, the popular Trisslotten. In this market, private profitmaking gambling companies are not allowed to operate. Partly a commercial competitive gambling market that mainly offers online casinos and betting, for example betting on horses and football. In this market, private commercial gambling companies can apply for and be awarded a license to operate in the Swedish gambling market.

Through Svenska Spel, the state is active in both of these markets, but now the time has come to divest Svenska Spel Sport & Casino, i.e. the part of the company that is active in the commercial, competitive gambling market.

Around 70 gambling companies are fighting for market share in the part of the gambling market that is open to competition and offers online casinos as well as betting on horses, football, other sports, and even who will win the next parliamentary election or Schlagerfestivalen. One of these companies is stateowned: Svenska Spel. It is difficult to find arguments for continued government commercial involvement in that market.

Normally, the state usually engages in business activities when the market itself has failed, above all in terms of competition. There may be too few players in a market and the few that exist may have too dominant a position for competition to function. Then the state steps in as a commercial actor with the ambition of countering that market failure. However, no one who has followed developments in the Swedish gambling market can claim that there is too little competition between the 70 companies that operate in competitive gambling. Competition is fierce and would remain so even in the absence of the state as a commercial casino operator and bookmaker in betting.

Another argument for conducting stateowned commercial gambling activities could be a desire to act as an example for all other companies on the market, for example in not producing as much gambling advertising as the competitors. Anyone who has followed Svenska Spel’s marketing since the reregulation knows, however, that the company is one of Sweden’s largest advertisers in all categories, i.e. including gambling but also other large advertising buyers such as grocers and car manufacturers. Svenska Spel’s extensive advertising purchases rather force the private gambling companies to make larger advertising purchases on their part than would otherwise have been the case.

“A stateowned gambling company that operates in direct competition with others is, in principle, like any other gambling company,” says the government investigation from 2017, which was the basis for the Swedish reregulation of the gambling market. That’s exactly how it is; Svenska Spel Sport & Casino has exactly the same license as other gambling companies. They follow exactly the same responsible gambling regulations, and they do it no better or worse than their competitors. They pay exactly the same gambling tax as all other gambling companies. Therefore, the logical consequence already became apparent to the Gambling License Investigation six years ago: “The conclusion is, according to the investigation, that the best alternative would be to divest the competition part.” [A reregulated gaming market, SOU 2017:30, p. 34]

So the only remaining question is why hasn’t the company been sold yet?

Perhaps an argument for keeping the company under state auspices could be its return to the state. But the idea is of course not for the company to be liquidated, but on the contrary to be sold to the highest bidder and then continue to be run, albeit privately. With the same requirement to pay gambling tax.

Not entirely surprisingly, there is a classic division here between political parties on the right and the left. Parties on the left view positively that the state owns companies and runs businesses, while parties on the right do not. This is also the case in this matter, and before the reregulation, the center-right parties had to waive stricter demands for the divestment of Svenska Spel Sport & Casino in order for the Social Democratled government to agree to introduce the gambling license system we have today.

Now that time is over and we have a new government, which together with the Sweden Democrats forms a majority in the Riksdag. The moderates have long advocated a divestment of Svenska Spel Sport & Casino, as have the Sweden Democrats. The voters who have given the center-right parties the power to rule Sweden have very reasonable expectations that the government will now move from words to action.

This is really nothing new for a center-right government. The last time Sweden had such a government, it concluded that the fact that the Swedish state had then become one of the world’s largest producers of alcohol was not in line with the government’s idea of what a state should do. Thus Vin & Sprit AB was sold in 2008, with the Absolut brand, for 55 billion kronor to France’s Pernod Ricard, which still runs the business for the benefit of Scanian grain farmers, among others.

It is now high time that our own contemporary anomaly, the state’s role as a casino operator and bookmaker, found an end. And unlike the longawaited introduction of gambling licenses, which took place at the initiative of the Social Democrats, it would be desirable for this to happen during a center-right wing government in power. What else should it have the power for, if not to implement what it said in opposition it wanted to do?

Gustaf Hoffstedt
Secretary General, The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling

[Gustaf Hoffstedt is among the speakers of the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit which will be held between 29-30 March 2023. More details about the summit can be found here.]

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Top 5 Blockchain Games to Play According to dappGambl

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Blockchain is a revolutionary form of technology that underpins a lot of areas of cryptography. It promotes transparency, security, privacy, and safety online. Likewise, it is also beneficial to be able to bring to life technologies such as smart contracts, which can automate a lot of what happens online thanks to blockchain itself. In fact, there are so many applications for blockchain that we will probably never stop discovering them. There are more and more emerging each and every week. The crypto market never settles and is one that is going to continue to grow.

 

The world of blockchain games

In fact, it is so widely applicable that there are even blockchain games. And so you’re probably thinking, Why would this revolutionary technology be used in games, or specifically as a platform for games? Well, a lot of players who are into blockchain games really see it as an attractive option because it allows them more control over the gaming experience they’re getting themselves into. For example, if they complete or achieve a certain objective, they can win in-game tokens, or indeed, assets, which they can then go on to sell at a marketplace, either to another player or to the game itself. Today we’re going to look at some of the top blockchain games that dappGambl (https://dappgambl.com/) recommends you try out. And of course, there are also plenty of crypto casinos you can try out.

 

What else is it referred to as?

As with any emerging technology, there is jargon everywhere, and so you may also hear blockchain games referred to as crypto, NFT, metaverse, or Web3 games. All of which focus on this next step in this realm of technology. It also has other aspects that set it apart, including decentralisation, meaning that it can be built and maintained by members of the community. And as blockchain does promote, it also allows you to be more in control of your data and assets, being able to move them around as and when you want to rather than them being controlled by another entity.

 

Aviator

This first blockchain game recommended by Dappgambl has everything you could want. It’s a social-based cryptocurrency game that involves a plane, of course, and the challenge for you is to eject yourself from the plane before the game ‘takes off’. You can wager each and every time and if, unfortunately, you don’t eject in time, you lose your wager. The benefit, though, is that you can stack multipliers up as the rounds go on; likewise, if you sign up for the game today, you can receive a 200% deposit bonus when you sign up!

 

Bingolaco

If you’re a fan of football and blockchain, this is the perfect game for you to try. As the name may suggest, it has a bingo element and uses a football player in order to help you gather numbers that appear with your ultimate aim, as in bingo, to fill your specific scorecard. And to add to the fun, there are also bonus features such as a penalty kick that can help catapult and add to your winnings. Likewise, if you sign up to play this game today, you can get up to a 200% bonus.

Coin Master

This is one of the biggest games currently on the smartphone app market, and one that you may not have even considered to have been a blockchain game. However, if you think about it, all of the assets in the game are under your control. You can build and progress your own village and win more coins on the in-game slot machine. It has won various awards for the accolades it has set and features coins that you can buy in game and steal from other people’s villages. It is also free to download and free to play so we would advise trying this one out.

 

Ethermon

This next game adopts a Pokemon-esque theme and was one of the earliest games built on the Ethereum crypto platform. It has been around since 2017 and, in fact, predates NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Essentially, the game is exactly like the pokemon in the sense that the objective is to collect as many NFT’s as you can, which in this sense can be related to the Etheremon creatures within the game, which are viewed as tokens that you are collecting as a player.

 

The Chicken Game

This last game is very simple, but at the same time very entertaining, and steers more towards the iGaming sector. As the name suggests, the two symbols in this game are both chickens and chicken bones. And they line up in a 5×5 format just as they would on a normal slot machine. You can then choose what your wager amount is, and then your objective as the player is to keep picking as much chicken as you can; the longer the game goes on, the more you win.

 

In Summary

We’re hoping that this has been more than enough information for you to digest regarding the world of blockchain games and some of the hottest games that are out there on the market at the moment. We would strongly recommend giving them a try and having some fun today.

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Mindspa launches free self-therapy course to combat gambling addiction during Paris 2024 Olympics

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As the 2024 Olympic Games kick off in Paris this week, Mindspa, a leading mental health app with over 1 million users worldwide, is thrilled to introduce a groundbreaking 40-lesson self-therapy course specifically designed to tackle gambling addiction.

Gambling addiction is a significant issue affecting millions of people globally. Despite its prevalence, many individuals hesitate to seek help due to the fear of judgment. The convenience of a mobile app ensures total privacy, a crucial element given the stigma surrounding the condition.

Mindspa’s therapeutic course, developed by leading psychologists, integrates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Gestalt therapy, offering both theoretical lectures and practical exercises. It provides deep insights into various aspects of gambling addiction. Topics covered include understanding addiction, stages of habit formation, societal and cultural impacts, identifying triggers and resisting urges, the pleasure cycle, the role of emotions and needs in gambling, personal traits and predispositions, neural networks, cognitive biases, motivation, and behavioral strategies for building a sustainable path to recovery.

By addressing gambling addiction within the broader context of mental health, Mindspa offers a comprehensive tool to support overall emotional well-being.

Recognized by Apple as one of the top 5 mental health apps in Europe, Mindspa features a diary to track progress, hundreds of coping exercises for various feelings and emotions, a therapeutic chatbot for immediate support during stressful periods, and additional self-therapy courses on numerous other topics.

Special Significance During the Paris Olympics

The Paris Olympics represent a challenging time for those struggling with gambling addiction, filled with triggers and enticement that could lead to harmful gambling.

To support individuals during this high-risk period, Mindspa is offering this course for free throughout the duration of the games. This initiative underscores Mindspa’s commitment to helping those in need manage their addiction effectively during a time when problem gambling may surge.

“Major events like the Olympics can trigger increased gambling activity. By offering our course for free, we aim to provide accessible support to individuals at a critical time.” commented Maurizio Savino, co-founder of Mindspa.

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Spin Jackpot Capital Casino’s Paradise Carnival Treasure Wheel with Glamma

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Don your best carnival costume and join Glamma as she takes you on a fun tropical adventure in the Bahamas filled with mega prizes on three colourful slot games from July 25 to August 28. Spin the Paradise Carnival Treasure Wheel for your chance to win big on Jackpot Capital slots Crystal Waters, Samba Jackpots, and Mermaid Royale.

In Glamma’s Big Adventure with every spin, players have the opportunity to win Free Spins, a $24 freebie, and generous 222% match-ups.

Explore the depths of Crystal Waters where you can encounter friendly dolphins that may double your winnings! This slot brings special payouts when players land three or more Yachts, and the Free Games feature will be triggered, instantly awarding 15 free games. During Free Games, a Bonus Fish can appear on reel three and substitute for all symbols except Yachts. Catch a Bonus Fish in your winning combination and your prize is multiplied by 2, 4 or 8.

Go on a unique carnival journey In Samba Jackpots, should players land a Samba dancer in green stacks on any reel, the Wild Reels feature comes to life. Watch her go Wild before holding her place on the reel while the others Re-Spin, giving you more shots at a payout. Land three or more Gold Coins anywhere to trigger the Quick Hit Jackpot feature, where you can win one of 10 corresponding prizes.

Mermaid Royale offers a 3×1 Bonus Row, which boosts your potential for prizes, as special symbols trigger Expanding Wilds, Free Games, Re-Spins, and Oversized symbols. Three different Scatters give you a wealth of ways to reel in Re-Spins and Free Games.

“The summer is the perfect time to visit Paradise Carnival. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience the magic of Carnival in paradise and potentially walk away with some incredible prizes at Jackpot Capital Casino. Join me for all the fun and spin the Bonus Treasure Wheel to get your prizes.” – Glamma commented excitedly.

At Jackpot Capital Casino, players can enjoy a wide selection of slots and table games, with many titles also available on the mobile casino for smartphones and tablets.

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