A very interesting conference took place in Malmö on November 28-29: Forum for Problem Gambling Issues (”Forum för spelberoendefrågor”). The conference was financed by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and organized by the National Association of Problem Gamblers (Spelberoendes riksförbund, SBRF).
About sixty people participated in the conference. The majority were from mutual support societies belonging to the SBRF. There were also representatives from the Public Health Agency, researchers working with studies on problem gambling prevention funded by the Agency, and people from non-profit organizations that get economic support from the Agency for problem gambling prevention. Furthermore, there were speakers from BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society) and the Swedish Inheritance Fund, which supports non-profit organizations to run activities that improve the conditions for children, youth and people with disabilities.
What made the conference so interesting and rewarding were not only the individual contributions of the speakers but above all the mix of participants. Researchers got feedback from people with personal experiences of problem gambling, and members of the SBRF and its local societies got an update on ongoing research. Representatives of public and non-profit organizations had the opportunity to present their organizations and tell about the possibilities of future cooperation and in some cases also funding of activities.
The Forum has its origin in the yearly meetings of the national association SBRF. These meetings have over the years been broadened to include invited problem gambling researchers and representatives from other organizations. The new Forum for Problem Gambling Issues takes this development a step further, providing an excellent opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange.
– English speaking people who are not familiar with the SBRF can get an overview of the organization and its local societies in an article of mine.
– At the Forum, I presented my ongoing study of problem gambling in workplaces where employees have potential access to the company’s money.