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Finland – Veikkaus ideally placed for competitive market to open up

By - 30 August 2023

Finnish gambling operator Veikkaus Oy’s gross gaming revenue increased by 0.6 per cent for the period January–June to reach €519m with the state-owned gambling monopoly saying ti was well placed for the competiton if the monopoly is broken up.

CEO Olli Sarekoski said: “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.”

Veikkaus is ‘strategically prepared’ for a competitive market adding ‘change requires renewal and development from both Veikkaus and the people of Veikkaus.’

The first half of the year showed positive performance, especially in Veikkaus Oy’s digital channel. In May, all of Veikkaus’ coupon games began to require identification. The impacts of identification on gambling have been as expected.

Veikkaus Group’s profit was €311.9m, down 5.7 per cent and its operating profit was €310.2m, down 6.2 per cent. The decrease in the result was due to an increase in the group’s total costs, especially the lottery tax and development costs.

The lottery tax paid to the central government on gross gaming revenue increased by 1.6 percentage points from the previous year’s 3.4 per cent and is five per cent this current financial year. The company paid €25.9m in lottery tax for the January–June period, which is €8.4m more than at the same time the previous year. 54 per cent of Veikkaus’ gross gaming revenue came from the digital channel and 46 per cent from physical points of sale. Authenticated gambling accounted for 87.3 per cent (+7.5 percentage points) of all Veikkaus Oy’s gambling activities.

Veikkaus CFO Regina Sippel said: “Veikkaus’ result and performance during the first half of the year (January-June) 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.”

The gross gaming revenue for gambling activities developed positively, especially in online casinos (digital automated games and digital table games), which produced a gross gaming revenue of €93.2m, up 9.4 per cent. The increase was mainly due to successful game publications.

Eurojackpot’s gross gaming revenue was €78.1m and this was a 20.8 per cent increase compared to the previous year, due to an increased number of draws. A second weekly draw was added for Eurojackpot in March 2022. On the other hand, Lotto’s gross gaming revenue, €64.8m, decreased by 12.7 per cent. This decrease was influenced by factors like smaller jackpots compared to the same period the previous year and a smaller number of drawings due to the way that weeks landed on the calendar.

The gross gaming revenue for betting (€61.3m) remained almost at the same level, down 1.5 per cent as during January-June the previous year.

Veikkaus introduced a new sales terminal in its entire network of agents between February and April. The new sales terminal allowed Veikkaus to introduce an identification requirement in coupon games starting from 15 May 2023.

The identification requirement facilitates the more effective prevention of harm caused by gambling, strengthens age limit control, and establishes a safer gambling environment. The range of self-bans was diversified, as coupon games can now be prevented by game or game groups -specifically in all sales channels.

During the spring, Veikkaus also prepared for the identification requirement for scratchcards, which will enter into force at the beginning of 2024. After this, all games offered by Veikkaus will require identification. 

The first half of the year went well for Veikkaus subsidiary Fennica Gaming Oy, which is engaged in international business-to-business, and its prospects are promising. The company’s turnover multiplied during the first half of its second year of operation and its result was as expected.

Timo Kiiskinen, Managing Director of Fennica Gaming, said: “The online scratchcards that Fennica Gaming provided for its international corporate clients have attracted great international interest. Online scratchcards developed by Veikkaus can already be played in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia and Germany. “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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