Finland’s competition watchdog has said the gambling monopoly’s revenue should go to the treasury rather than specific beneficiaries.
Finland.- The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV) has published its final report into the country’s state gambling monopoly, Veikkaus.
The authority has concluded that Veikkaus’ revenue should go to the Finnish treasury rather than specific ministries and that Veikkaus should be placed under the power of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
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More than half of Veikkaus’ revenue currently goes to the Ministry of Education and Culture to fund sports, science and arts, while 43 per cent goes to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The remaining 4 per cent funds horseracing via the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The KKV said this meant that initiatives to reduce gambling harm could lead to underfunding in the other areas. It suggested that all revenue should go to the treasury instead to ensure predictability and stability in funding.
Research professor Mika Maliranta said: “If active efforts are made to reduce gambling disadvantages, Veikkaus beneficiaries will not be able to anticipate their funding, as reducing gambling disadvantages is likely to have an impact on the amount of Veikkaus revenues distributed to beneficiaries.
“On the other hand, if the gambling monopoly does not actively seek to reduce harm, the monopoly system does not meet the purpose or justification of the law.
“This contradiction has hampered the social debate about Veikkaus’ responsibility.”
The report also recommends that Veikkaus’ governance should come under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (STM) instead of the Prime Minister’s Office.
It said: “STM is already responsible for monitoring, researching, evaluating and developing prevention and treatment of gambling disorders. Thus, it would be best placed to steer the company in a direction where gambling causes less harm to individuals and society.”
The watchdog also called for Veikkaus’ data to be made available to researchers.
It determined that the government’s reform of gambling was “on the right track” but said improvement was possible, including through “a more targeted” approach to reducing gambling-related harm.