Finnish government-owned company Veikkaus Oy, which holds the monopoly over gambling in the country, has filed a request for a one-year postponement of the compulsive implementation of identification controls regarding all coupon-based lottery games in Finland. The company asked for the delay as it is experiencing difficulties in supplying the necessary hardware components, which are needed for the technical upgrade of its sales terminals.
Finland’s New Legislative Rules
A new bill introducing amendments to the Lottery Act was approved on December 22, 2021, by Finland’s president Sauli Niinistö and came into force on January 1, 2022. The new rules aimed at preventing harm caused by gambling by introducing tougher regulation on the marketing of gambling services and extending the requirement for identification to all games offered by the state monopoly Veikkaus Oy.
In practice, this means that identification controls have to be applied to coupon-based games from January 1, 2023. However, Veikkaus Oy has asked for an extension to January 1, 2024, as the company needs more time in order to make sure all of its sales and gambling machines can perform the required identification checks. This delay is caused by the components shortage that the global market is experiencing as a result form the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Global Shortage of Components Causes the Delay
Despite Veikkaus Oy having started the replacement of its machines before the approval of the new legislation, Jari Heino, director of channels and sales at Veikkaus Oy, has highlighted:
“Due to the global shortage of components, deliveries of new sales terminals are already behind schedule. There is a risk that the required sales terminals will not be available in time for the mandatory statutory identification to be implemented from January 1, 2023. This risk is not under the control of Veikkaus, nor of the supplier in all respects, although of course everything that can be done is done to reduce the risk.”Jari Heino, director of channels and sales at Veikkaus Oy
The company has committed to introducing the new sales terminals as soon as the shortages ease. Veikkaus Oy is a Finnish state-owned company that operates all gambling operations in the country as a government monopoly. All of the company profits go to the state budget with 53% allocated to the Ministry of Education and Culture, 43% going to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and 4% to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.