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SPER creates new advertising regulator for Swedish gaming industry

7th July 2014 7:37 am GMT

Sweden’s Council for Gaming Ethics (SPER) has formed a new independent panel which will review advertising and other marketing activities across the regulated gaming industry in Sweden.

Promoting the interests of Sweden’s licensed gambling operators, SPER (Spelbranschens Etiska Råd) had called out for more effective regulation of gambling advertising earlier this year, singling out advertising by unregulated sites as a key area of focus.

The new initiative will see the creation of an independent regulator of advertising across the gaming industry, similar to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

SPER, whose members include licensed operators such as Svenska Spel and ATG among others, said that the group of experts will examine the industry and be tasked with reviewing advertising and other marketing activities that go against its guidelines.

The newly created group will include three experienced and independent experts who will consider whether any adverts are misleading or target young people.

It will be headed up by chair Ylva Aversten, an experienced marketer currently working as a lawyer for Marlaw. She has previous worked for the Swedish advertising ombudsman, and has worked with the gaming and lottery sector through the Ministry of Finance.

She is joined on the expert panel by Yvonne Hejdenberg, the former head of communications at the Swedish Gaming Board who currently serves as director of communications at Södertälje Hospital. She has 25 years of experience in communications, PR, and brand and marketing in the private sector.

The final member is Professor Hans de Geer, who is senior advisor at the Centre for Business History. He has written a book (Statens Spel) on the development of the Swedish gaming market.

Petra Forsström, permanent secretary of SPER, said that its guidelines would be stricter than the law requires as the association wants to further strengthen accountability in marketing.

“Gambling operators licensed in the Swedish market face stiff competition from the private players who are not licensed,” said Forsström. “Then it's easy for marketing to push the boundaries of what is ethically defensible. We must constantly show that our members take great responsibility and lead the development of ethics in gaming. One way is to dare to examine themselves and not be afraid to face criticism.”

Other members of SPER include Kombispel, Folkspel, Ideella Spel, Idrottens Spel, Lottericentralen, Miljonlotteriet, Svebico (Swedish bingo association), and Postkodlotteriet.

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