Finland Readying Nearly 50% Slot Machine Reduction
Posted at: 08 November 2019
During a press conference held at the end of October 2019, the Finnish state-owned gambling monopoly Veikkaus announced its 5-year plan for a considerable reduction of slot machines. The decision can be attributed to the criticism it faced because of social responsibility failures.
Currently, Veikkaus is in charge of 18,500 slot machines located at supermarkets and kiosks. Over the next year, their number will be reduced to 14,000. By the end of 2024, Veikkaus will run no more than 10,500 slot machines. Earlier this year, the betting agency announced that it would cut the number to 15, 500.
Predictions are that the slot machines reduction will result in a €150 – €200 mln annual profit loss.
Long-Term Plan of Action
The slot machine reduction is just one of the changes Veikkaus is readying. Company representatives announced that the planned identification verification technology will be implemented a year earlier and by 2021 players will have a self-exclusion option available.
Veikkaus spiked controversy in the summer when it launched an advertisement campaign where gamblers were encouraged by a therapist to visit the Veikkaus website or go to a racetrack.
The campaign was suspended and Veikkaus promised to introduce changes in its marketing strategy, comply with the social responsibility regulations, and promote responsible gambling.
Veikkaus representatives highlighted that all their efforts were devoted to keeping up with the digital gambling services that flooded the market. Consequently, they fall behind with promoting responsible gambling.
As a part of the strategy to remain competitive to its online counterparts, Veikkaus signed partnership agreements with influential companies, including the Swedish slot specialist NetEnt and the sports betting brand SBTech.
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