The authority has asked the state-owned Veikkaus to take responsibility and introduce changes to its operating procedures.
Finland.- The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has urged Veikkaus to take gambling and the problems around it seriously. The authority asked the state-owned monopoly Veikkaus to introduce a series of changes to its operating procedures.
The Director-General of the authority, Kirsi Leivo, told Yle that the company’s profits should be paid to the state. She explained that by doing this, Veikkaus would stop the links with the organisations and projects funded by gambling revenue. “If the money went to the state budget, this would offer a clear solution for the beneficiaries,” she said.
Veikkaus currently sends money to three government ministries, which get sent to other beneficiaries. Leivo said that if sent to the state budget, the money to beneficiaries would not be directly tied to Veikkaus.
Slot machines regulation
The Director-General said that slot machines should be placed in more controlled environments. This comes after the government started an investigation onto Veikkaus’ practices.
“It is quite exceptional that they [slot machines] are so freely displayed. I think, of course, that one could seriously consider moving them to casinos,” Leivo said. “State ownership and other regulations mean that Veikkaus must operate in such a way that gambling problems are taken seriously. Veikkaus’ regulation is decentralized to a large number of players. It would make sense to have one supervisor with sufficient access to information and sufficient sanctions,” Leivo added.
Veikkaus vows to remove slot machines
The company said that it plans to decrease the number of slot machines located in shops and kiosks by 3,000 units, Yle reported. By 2022, gamblers will have to identify themselves to log on to play any of the remaining slot machines in those locations. Currently, Veikkaus operates 21,500 slot machines in the country.
Moreover, Veikkaus revealed that it will reduce its marketing campaigns in order to counter-attack problem gambling. The company also said that digital games will only have a place on digital channels in the near future.