Photo: Hasse Holmberg / TT
Svenska Spel wants to put its VLT gambling machines in places like this now, not just in bingo halls and places that have alcohol licenses. Photo: Hasse Holmberg / TT

Svenska Spel calls for more Jack Vegas gambling machines

Svenska Spel wants to install more Jack Vegas gambling machines in Sweden, despite the opinion of experts, who say that these are among the most addictive kinds of games.

Jack Vegas belong to a class of gambling machines called VLTs (video lottery terminals), which are similar to slot machines.

Swedish Television News reports that Svenska Spel, the state-owned monopoly operating in the regulated gambling market, wants to put another 1,000 Jack Vegas machines in stores.

"There's a big market and demand to be able to play in areas where alcohol is not served, and so we want to be there as an alternative to the illegal machines that we know exist in pizza parlors, kiosks and cafes today," Lennart Käll, the CEO of Svenska Spel, told SVT.

Nowadays, Jack Vegas machines are only in restaurants which have alcohol licenses and in bingo halls, "environments where underaged people are not normally permitted", according to Svenska Spel's website.

Now, Svenska Spel is asking permission from the Finance Ministry to be able to put slot machines in facilities run by game agents, as well.

"Our game agents are trained and certified to work with other gaming products, and therefore, have knowledge about what constitutes healthy and safe gaming," says Käll.

However, Jakob Jonsson, a psychologist who researches gambling addictions, says that making the machines more visible, and increasing their number, can result in more people becoming addicted to gambling.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden estimates that nine percent of people who use video lottery terminals, like the Jack Vegas machines, are addicted to gambling.

Svenska Spel's website states, "For us, responsibility comes before profit," and that its "most important task is to minimise negative social consequences relating to gaming activities."

The website also states that the Jack Vegas VLTs "are among the games that carry the highest risk from a gaming dependency perspective. This is why Svenska Spel has a monopoly on them. Vegas is, however, encountering significant competition from illegal gaming machines. Vegas' turnover is at the top of the list of all forms of gaming in the country."

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