Finland – Tampere Casino could close along with job losses and other closures as Veikkaus prepares for monopoly endBy Phil - 6 September 2023
Finland’s government-owned gambling operator Veikkaus has warned it will be forced to axe jobs and close gaming venues as prepares for a more competitive marketplace once its monopoly ends.
It warned that the closures could include its newest casino Tampere.
The operator said its preparations for a new era will continue during the autumn. Preparations are underway to change the gambling system, and part of the market will be opened to competition at the beginning of 2026, according to the Government Programme entry.
The company’s goal is a ‘sustainable and profitable business model’ that ‘guarantees competitiveness’ in the future. Therefore, changes are planned to the organisational structure, which will be discussed in the change negotiations starting in September.
The negotiations cover almost the entire organisation and a total of 825 Veikkaus employees. The negotiations may lead to the termination of the employment contracts of a maximum of approximately 240 employees and significant changes in the terms and conditions of employment of a maximum of 195 people.
Part of Veikkaus’ digital gambling business is intended to become part of the international licensing gaming market. However, according to the plans, the lottery and physical slot machines will remain within Veikkaus’ monopoly.
CEO Olli Sarekoski said: “Preparing for the change in the gaming industry and internationalisation are a very important part of Veikkaus’ growth strategy. Veikkaus intends to invest heavily in new business. We are building a future in which Veikkaus is Finland’s most successful gambling company and a significant player in the international market.”
“We are planning to reduce the number of gaming venues from 65 to approximately 40–50. The change negotiations also deal with the possible closure of Tampere Casino.”
Veikkaus aims for an operating model that enables it to focus on its core business. With it, the company aims to be able to respond to changes in Veikkaus’ mission and operating environment as well as in the gaming industry.
“We want to be competitive in the future licensing market and viable in the monopoly market. That is why we need changes to our operations that apply to the entire company,” Sarekoski added.
The transformation of the gambling industry and the upcoming system change mean a new era for Veikkaus.
“That means many parallel changes. We review the entire organization from the perspective of profitability and growth. We also have to make difficult decisions. For some, these changes may mean the end of their employment. We care and take care of them,” he added.