Finland’s Gambling Monopoly to Be Dissolved per Veikkaus Deputy CEO

Veikkaus, the gambling monopoly in Finland, has started questioning whether the monopoly system in the country is working. The deputy CEO of Veikkaus, Velipekka Nummikoski¸ talked to a Finnish media outlet and confirmed that eliminating the monopoly may be the smartest decision. 

Finnish Players Are Turning To Unregulated Markets

The possibility of ending the monopoly comes after a review of the gambling market in Finland and the revenue that Veikkaus generates. In H1 of 2022, Veikkaus registered €515 million ($515 million), which is a decrease compared to the same period last year. 

Not only that, but the revenue in FY2021 was $1.2 billion and it represented a 12.7% decrease compared to FY2020. Veikkaus also reported a 5% drop in its market share in the country and this statistic was of major concern to Olli Sarekoski, the company’s CEO. 

The drop in market share is an indicator that the players from Finland are turning to unregulated markets and that is why Sarekoski suggested that it may be a good idea to start thinking about “bringing all gambling under the same regulation.” 

Nummikoski also shared some words on the current state of the gambling industry in Finland. He said that when the Lotteries Act was amended in 2021, several protective measures were introduced.

One of those measures was a blocking system that prevented transactions from being made outside of the monopoly. Most recently, Veikkaus introduced new restrictions on slots in shops

The Swedish System Is a Great Option, According to Nummikoski

In terms of what the next step should be, Nummikoski urged the government to consider implementing Sweden’s system. While speaking to Yleisradio, Nummikoski noted that channelization in Sweden reached 90% and the goal of the system was reached. 

Several independent policy agencies have advised the government to drop the monopoly system, but the Social Democrat Party rejected the recommendations. 

According to Nummikoski, the new system could bring a positive change as a new licensing system will be implemented and foreign operators would be taxed.  

Apart from facing challenges in the market share, Veikkaus recently asked for a delay in identification checks implementation. This was also a new change whose goal is to promote safer gambling, however, Veikkaus stated that it is experiencing difficulties in supplying the necessary hardware.

Jari Heino, the company’s director of channels and sales, commented on the delay. He stated that the global shortage of components is the main reason why the delivery of new sales terminals is behind schedule. 

As a result, Heino noted that the mandatory ID checks won’t be ready to be implemented from January 1, 2023.

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