Government hints at partial Svenska Spel sell off

The government is open to selling off parts of the Svenska Spel gaming monopoly to other actors in the market.

A potential sale would cover games considered less likely to lead to gambling addiction.

The government’s gaming commission has been given the additional task of deciding on the conditions that would govern the sale of certain parts of the gaming monopoly.

The commission is already working on modernizing and strengthening Sweden’s gaming regulations, as well as examining whether companies other than Svenska Spel can be allowed to participate in the market by seeking licenses to operate less harmful types of games.

Writing in the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper, Finance Minister Anders Borg explained that the question is whether Svenska Spel should continue to operate less harmful forms of gaming, or if those games should be handed over to other actors.

The gaming commission will judge whether such a sale is appropriate in light of the social protection aspects and Sweden’s obligations under EU law.

The commission will also look into the importance of the gaming monopoly’s activities for various societal organizations.


UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

An English high school has taken notice after teachers in Stockholm introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for 13-year-old students, with one Englishman keen to pit his own students against those in Sweden.

UK teacher challenges Swedes to Minecraft

After The Local wrote about a Stockholm school and its compulsory Minecraft lessons, one Englishman has been particularly moved by the Minecraft must.

Andrew Richardson Medd, assistant head teacher at the new Thomas Ferens Academy in Hull, is keen to get a similar programme running for his own students.

“When I saw the article, I thought – this is what I’m looking for – a lot of our students were playing Minecraft already and I’ve been trying to find something for our project-based learning programme,” Medd told The Local.

With his own students at the Hull school already equipped with their own iPads, Medd believes that interactive work with the Swedish computer game could be the perfect platform for a summer project for his own 13-14-year-olds.

“Learning has changed. Pupils aren’t receivers any more, the boundaries are greyed. Learning has become more collaborative, and that’s what I like about the game,” he said.

“Students are digital natives; they learn through experimenting whereas adults learn by questioning.”

Minecraft has already proven to be extremely popular worldwide since its release in November 2011, with over 40 million registered players and 17.5 million games units sold.

The three dimensional game demands that players find creative solutions to construction problems. According to its website, the idea is as simple as “arranging blocks to build anything you can imagine.”

While Medd is yet to hear back from teachers in Stockholm about their project, he is keen to throw down the gauntlet if that’s what it takes to get noticed.

“My vision is that the two schools could come together in an online collaborative project. A competition would be fantastic – let’s take on the natives, so to speak,” he told The Local.

“I cant profess to be a techie myself, but the kids would be really up for the challenge.”

Oliver Gee

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