Covid-19 impact causes Veikkaus profit to fall 32.6%

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 25.5 per cent to €1.26bn.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 25.5 per cent to €1.26bn.

Finland’s state-run gaming operator saw profit fall to €680.2m for full-year 2020.

Finland.- The state-run gaming monopoly Veikkaus has reported a 32.6 per cent drop in profits for 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Publishing its results for the financial year, the operator reported profit of €680.2m. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell 25.5 per cent to €1.26bn.

More than half of GGR (56.6 per cent) was generated through Veikkaus’s  retail network. The share taken by its digital channel increased by 11 per cent.

See also: Finland: Veikkaus’ revenue should go to treasury

Veikkaus put the drop in profits down to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that its slot machines had been out of action for five months.

The operator has also been reducing the number of slot machines it operates as part of its safer gambling initiatives.

The operator highlighted its commitment to its responsible gaming initiatives in 2020 despite the impact of the pandemic. 

Hanna Kyrki, senior vice president for legal affairs and corporate social responsibility, said: “Despite the challenges and insecurity caused by the epidemic, we made major decisions to work on the building of a more responsible gaming environment in 2020.”

Veikkaus reported that 58.1 per cent of gaming in the period was authenticated through ID checks. Within that, 11.5 per cent of slot gaming was authenticated, with the operator beginning to pilot authentication requirements for slots in October before making it obligatory in January.

GGR for the entire Finnish gambling market in 2020 is estimated at €1.59bn, a drop of 21 per cent year-on-year. That would mean that Veikkaus serves 80 per cent of the market. However, its share of the online market is estimated at 63 per cent.

Regina Sippel, Veikkaus’s chief financial officer, said: “We had to take major, difficult decisions, on a tight schedule at Veikkaus due to the coronavirus epidemic in 2020, in order to protect the health of our staff, customers, and retailers.

“For Veikkaus, just as for many other companies, the year of the coronavirus was challenging; however, it was also a year of positive, remarkable solutions that have enabled the building of a more responsible gaming environment.”

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