Finland imposes measures to restrain gambling problems
The Finnish national gambling monopoly operator Veikkaus has released new ID verification controls for gambling machines in third-party locations. The initiative began on Tuesday, 12 January 2021. This became part of Veikkaus’ new problem gambling responsibility program.
Following these brand new measures, identification will be mandatory for anyone who wants to partake in gambling activities on slot machines at non-casino venues. This includes shops, restaurants and kiosks. The ID can be verified by using the mobile app, Veikkaus player card, or a payment card that is connected to the Veikkaus customer database; and the new changes are expected to come into full effect with all Veikkaus slot machines soon.
The operator explained that “significant financial consequences” are expected amid estimates that losses sustained by players will drop by £300million ($364.5million).
Jari Heino, Sales Director for Veikkaus, said: “Through this measure, we want to offer preventive tools to those who are at risk of difficulties.”
An expected good change is that this new rule will allow punters to be conscious of the amount of money that is being spent on gambling, and will help cut down underage gambling by setting the minimum age requirement at 18 years old.
Furthermore, more and more countries are implementing more strict restrictions in a bid to hinder the spread of COVID-19. Finland was no exception as a number of restrictions were introduced across various regions in November and ended on the 15th of December.
Veikkaus saw a 28.1% year-on-year drop in gross revenue in the first six months of 2020. Its profit fell by 33.6% to £332.7million ($404.4million) during this time, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finland is the only European Union member that still possesses a gambling monopoly.
Unfortunately, many of the operator’s slots machines will not be available after the change because of the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.