Unique tool to detect excessive gambling

The government-controlled Swedish online poker room Svenska Spel introduced a tool aimed at tracking behavior that might lead to problem gambling.

The name of the software tool, Spelkoll, is appropriate: it translates roughly as "game control." Players can sign up and use the tool to analyze their own behavior.

The software checks more than a hundred different parameters of play, including how often you play, how you play, how much you play fore and if you play more after you lose. Players are then assigned to one of three different categories: green, meaning no cause for concern; orange, signifying the possibility of problems; and red, indicating a high risk of excessive gambling.

Svenska Spel stops sending advertisements to orange-category players, to avoid encouraging them to gamble more. Players in the red category may even find themselves temporarily shut down.

The software has been in development by Svenska Spel for the past year. It is the first problem-monitoring tool of its kind, and for now it's entirely up to players whether or not to use it.

It will be interesting to see if other online poker rooms come up with similar remedies to moderate excessive gambling.

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