Finland – Veikkaus limits slot hours in shopsBy Phil - 31 August 2022
Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus will limit the ability to play on gambling machines in shops. So far, it was theoretically possible to play around the clock, from September 1 this will only be possible between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Slot machines outside of retail stores will not be affected by the restrictions.
Vice President of Sustainability Susanna Saikkonen, said: “Veikkaus wants to offer the opportunity to go to the store without being able to play on the slot machines. Veikkaus is a company where all gambling requires identification in both digital and physical channels.”
Beyond the limitation of operating hours, it will no longer be apparent at first glance which games the respective machine offers. Only after successful identification of the player, the screen shows the game offer. In this way, customers should be able to go to shops without being directly confronted with gambling.
Veikkaus has made great efforts in recent years to improve player and youth protection, so since July 2021 it is no longer possible to play without identification – via Veikkaus card, EC card or mobile phone – at Veikkaus machines. The mandatory identification is intended to ensure player protection and prevent minors or banned persons from participating in gambling.
According to a survey conducted on behalf of Veikkaus by the opinion research institute Taloustutkimus, the reduction in the number of slot machines and the mandatory identification of customers has led to a noticeable decline in problematic gambling behavior. In the meantime, the main cause of problematic gambling behavior is no longer with slot machines, but with domestic and foreign online gambling.
Susanna Saikkonen, Head of Player Protection, sees the identification of the player as the key to controlling their own gaming behaviour. In addition to setting game and betting limits, the player can also be completely blocked or, if certain indicators apply, also be blocked by Veikkaus. For this reason, player identification is to be extended to other forms of play in the future.