Veikkaus: loss limits cut problem gambling to “all-time low”

Veikkaus has implemented a range of measures.
Veikkaus has implemented a range of measures.

Finland’s state-controlled gaming monopoly says its safer gambling measures have reduced problem gambling.

Finland.- The state-controlled gaming monopoly Veikkaus has reported that problem gambling in Finland has fallen to an “all-time low” after it implemented tougher loss limits on both online and land-based slots.

A survey commissioned by the operator has found a problem gambling rate of 0.8 per cent compared to 1.6 per cent 12 months ago.

The Finnish government reduced the loss limit on online slots from €2,000 to €500 per month in April 2020.

Veikkaus then extended the limit to land-based slots in September this year, while also encouraging players to set their own lower limits.

The operator says that data shows that close to 100,000 players stopped gambling because they reached loss limits in September and October.

Players reached their limits 60 per cent more often than in previous months, and 80 per cent of those cases involved players that had set their own loss limits of less than €200.

The operator has also reduced the number of slots it operates, from 18,500 in 2019 to fewer than 10,000. It has also introduced mandatory ID verification for slot machines.

As a result, Veikkaus’ revenue from slot machines has already started to fall. Slot machines generated 40 per cent of its revenue in 2019 but are forecast to make up just 20 per cent of an estimated €200m-€220m next year.

Veikkaus’ vice president of sustainability, Susanna Saikkonen, said the operator had approximately 50,000 fewer slot players in 2021 when compared to 2019.

Lauri Halkola, Veikkaus’ chief data officer and vice president of data and analytics, said: “Since compulsory loss limits were introduced, gambling has fallen significantly in both men and women and in all age groups, and the differences between gambling rates have evened out. The most drastic drops have occurred in the groups playing the most and in the oldest age groups.”

Saikkonen said: “Our extensive sustainability measures aimed to reduce problem gambling in particular. Our most recent indicators suggest that we are definitely going in the right direction. In other words, gaming – especially slots – is clearly at a turning point.”

See also: Veikkaus to lay off up to 195 staff

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