Most political parties in Finland are in favour of introducing tougher restrictions on slot machines and gambling.
Finland.- A new survey from local media agency Yle has revealed that most political parties are in favour of new and tougher restrictions on slot machines and gambling. The survey comes days after the controversy around local gambling monopoly Veikkaus’ advertising.
Finland has looked into its gambling regulations in recent times and will welcome new laws by 2022. Gamblers will be required to identify themselves to prove they’re over 18 before betting on slots or accessing gambling services. According to Yle, all parties are in favour of moving that date forward in order to control underage gambling in the country.
Sirpa Paatero, Minister of Local Government and Ownership Steering, told the media outlet that she will work to advance the identification timetable with Veikkaus in the upcoming months. “I’ll be meeting with Veikkaus earlier than originally planned. We need to figure out how to technically implement this ID reform,” she said.
With the new rules, Veikkaus estimates that it could lose between €17 million and €170 million, starting in 2022.
Moreover, Yle asked politicians if they believe machines should be removed from shops and be relocated to dedicated arcades. Most of the parties answered that they would be in favour of that. However, Green Party chair and Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said: “Designating a certain facility for these games would most likely bring problematic playing habits down. Monitoring age limits and preventing severe drawbacks would be more effective.”
Veikkaus considers table games reduction
The monopoly said in a statement that it is considering a phase-out of all its table gaming operations in restaurants. The company currently runs 187 gaming tables in 162 restaurants, bars, casinos and other locations.
Veikkaus is also considering reducing its workforce, with the talks involving 1,300 employees out of its total workforce of 2,000. The measure aims to cut off its payroll by approximately 400 jobs.