Veikkaus is “strategically prepared” for end of Finnish gambling monopoly

Finland plans to open a licensed gambling market by 2026.
Finland plans to open a licensed gambling market by 2026.

The state-owned gambling operator has published its H1 results.

Finland.- Veikkaus, Finland’s state-owned monopoly gambling operator, has reiterated support for the launch of an open regulated gambling market in the country. It says it believes a competitive market will be more effective in channelling customers to regulated offerings.

The Finnish government plans to end Veikkaus’ gambling monopoly by 2026, allowing private companies to apply for licences to offer both sports betting and online casino. Veikkaus itself will be divided into separate companies within the same group, reversing a 2017 merger that combined the sports betting brand Veikkaus with the Raha-automaattiyhdistys slots operator and horse race betting operator Fintoto.

In the operator’s H1 report, CEO Olli Sarekoski writes: “The most important thing is that more gambling can be channelled into licensed offerings than before, and we think that the licence system best supports this goal and the development of more responsible gambling.”

He said that following a stable first half, Veikkaus is “strategically prepared” to develop its business in an open market, but added that “change requires renewal and development from both Veikkaus and the people of Veikkaus”.

Veikkaus H1 results

For the six months to June 30, Veikkaus has reported revenue of €519.3m, up 1 per cent year-on-year. The growth was driven by online casino revenue, which rose 9.4 per cent to €93.2m on the back of new game launches.

However, increased costs absorbed much of the growth in revenue. Lottery tax payments increased by 48.1 per cent to €25.9m and other business expenses, including development costs, rose to €60.5m. Employee costs rose by 10.2 per cent to €46m. Operating profit was down 6.2 per cent at €310.2m while total profit was €311.9m.

CFO Regina Sippel said: “Veikkaus’ result and performance during the first half of the year were as expected and we can be satisfied with these as a whole. The first half of the year was positive, especially in Veikkaus’ digital channel.”

Veikkaus’ new B2B subsidiary Fennica Gaming, which supplies online lottery products to operators in Europe, reported €300,000 in revenue. Managing director Timo Kiiskinen said this was in line with expectations.

He said: “Fennica Gaming’s corporate clients have been very satisfied with the quality of games developed by Veikkaus and the modern technology and reliability of the game engine and platform.”

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gambling regulation Veikkaus