By carrying out a new digital education programme across 2,328 football clubs, Swedish state-owned gambling company Svenska Spel has increased its commitment to fighting match-fixing.
The goal of the project is to provide a better understanding of the risks associated with match-fixing to both athletes and football associations.
The scheme was rolled out to the clubs associated with Svenska Spel’s sponsorship initiative Gräsroten, which provides information on detecting signs of problem gambling.
Patrik Hofbauer, CEO of Svenska Spel said: “Athletes, who often live close to the game, are a clear risk group for suffering from gambling problems.
“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, Swedish Football Association’s integrity officer, 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.”
Football restrictions and legal criteria related to classifying amateur and junior-level competitions have continued to be discussed in Sweden over 2020.
Swedish betting and sports leadership has asked national gambling inspectorate Spelinspektionen to explain the ‘grey areas’ associated with football wagering as part of further Swedish gambling reforms scheduled for this year.
Kajsa Nylander, Svenska Spel’s sustainability boss, stressed that having a comprehensive understanding of the topics is of rising significance for Swedish football associations.
Nylander said: “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.”