Swedish Professional Football Leauges together with Unibet launches a collaboration with the organization Spelfriheten. The ambition is to raise gambling-related issues among players and leaders both proactively and in a treating, reactive way for those in need of help.
“It feels great that, with the researchers’ proposal as a basis, we are now taking the next step in our integrity work and in our support for our clubs and their staff”, says Anders Wikström, integrity manager at Swedish Professional Football Leauges.
Gambling problem is a social problem that is now classified as a public disease. From a recent study commissioned by Swedish Professional Football Leagues and carried out by STAD/KI, elite athletes are also more at risk than the normal population for ending up in unhealthy gambling. The researchers’ proposals for measures primarily concern training, clarification of policies and independent contact points.
Therefore, Swedish Professional Football Leagues and Unibet have worked out a collaboration with Spelfriheten, an organization that works with education and treatment about gambling for money and gambling addiction. Going forward, a series of efforts will be made to inform and educate the clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan and their staff in matters related to unhealthy gambling.
“Unibet and Swedish Professional Football Leagues have a common zero vision against both match-fixing and unhealthy gambling. Therefore, it feels good and responsible that within the partnership we supplement our existing efforts with the parts that Spelfriheten can now assist with. The research shows that elite football players are a more risky group when it comes to gambling problems. So, training courses and lectures are another step in taking responsibility in our sponsorship primarily, but also for a healthier gambling industry in general”, says Anders Falk, sponsor manager at Unibet Sweden.
Some of the actions that will take place in 2023 are lectures for all 32 clubs, both players and leaders about gambling addiction, training for the clubs’ Integrity officers and the formulation of a policy regarding gambling for money.
“It feels great that we will now be working together with Swedish Professional Football Leagues and Unibet. Myself and several of my colleagues have experience from both team sports and from being addicted to gambling. We are convinced that we will be able to make a big difference through the preventive and treatment work”, says Adam Reuterswärd at Spelfriheten.
“It has always been important for us to highlight the importance of collaborating with all stakeholders in the industry to really make a difference. That’s why this feels incredibly positive, where sports, the gambling industry and us as a gambling addiction organization do common cause and both prevent and work with those who have developed a gambling addiction”, says Adam Reuterswärd market and client coordinator at Spelfriheten.
The collaboration: Swedish Professional Football Leagues, Unibet and Spelfriheten:
* Together, Swedish Professional Football Leagues, Unibet and Spelfriheten will give a lecture to all 32 clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan about gambling addiction
* Swedish Professional Football Leagues has purchased a license for the Spelfriheten support line where, if gambling problems are discovered in the clubs, there is a first contact within 24 hours. Quick help is incredibly important as the window of motivation for an addict to seek help can be very short.
* Spelfriheten annually will educate the clubs’ Integrity Officers in matters relating to gambling for money
* Spelfriheten should assist Swedish Professional Football Leagues to design a developed policy regarding games for money that the clubs can use in their everyday life
* When a gambling problem or gambling addiction is discovered, Spelfriheten offers a 16-month treatment that the clubs can choose to use.