Veikkaus Says €11B Turnover Reports Are Inaccurate
Finland’s state owned betting agency Veikkaus recently dismissed media reports which stated that Finnish players are spending as much as €11 billion (or $12.22 billion) on gaming machines.
Veikkaus has a monopoly on the gambling industry and enjoys numerous advantages in the market. The agency was formed back in 2017 when a merger between three agencies (Veikkaus, Slot Machine Association and Fintoto) took place.
The claims that the annual spending of players on the Veikkaus’s game machines are too high have put the operator in hot water, leading to criticism of citizens being exposed to higher gambling addiction risks and claims of financial abuse being caused by the monopoly that the agency has over the market.
Veikkaus addressed the controversy and claimed that the report was inaccurate and misrepresents the actual sales figures. The betting agency said that it calculates its sales figures based on customer losses (gross margin) which meant that their turnover for 2018 was vastly €840.3 million versus the €11 billion that the press claims.
Regina Sippel, the Chief Financial Officer of Veikkaus said the media’s figures also included the winnings of the players that were then wagered once more without being withdrawn.
She pointed out that when a player deposits €10 and wins €200, and then wagers that whole amount without withdrawing it, then in his point of view losing that whole amount is equivalent to losing €10 rather than losing €200. To characterize him losing €200 when all he deposited is €10 is misleading and will naturally make turnover figures become overblown, becoming billions instead of millions of euros.
Veikkaus’ Gaming Monopoly Under Scrutiny
The reports about inflated turnovers come at a sensitive time for Veikkaus. There are questions currently being aimed at the organization and the future of its monopoly over the Finnish gaming market. According to an April survey commissioned by Kasino Curt, an iGaming affiliate, the majority of Finns is in favour of the abolishment of the gambling monopoly and want a more competitive free gambling market and privatised regulatory structure.
In fairness, the survey only polled a small audience. However, it does suggest that the public attitude towards Veikkaus remaining the sole gaming provider of Finland is becoming less favorable. This is the second time an executive from Veikkaus has had to address a claim from the press regarding its business practices.
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