Veikkaus To Cut Slot Machines By Fifty Percent
Veikkaus which is the state owned gambling monopoly in Finland has been on a mission to reduce problem gambling in the country.
Veikkaus is looking at different ways to address the rise of gambling addiction in Finland and one of the main ways will be in reducing the number of slot machines throughout the country.
The national betting agency which has fully monopoly over sports betting and the lottery had earlier announced that it planned on reducing slot machines from the current 18,500 to 15,500.
Finns love to gamble and slot machines tend to be the most popular form of gambling as they do not require any special skillset as slots are based completely on chance.
However, Veikkaus has now announced that it will cut an even bigger number of slot machines. The number of slot machines will now drop from 18,500 to 10,500 within the next five years. The biggest cut will take place in 2020 as Veikkaus will remove as many as 3,500 machines from supermarkets, kiosks and service stations. The remaining 4,500 slot machines will slowly be de-commissioned during the next 5 years.
The reduction of slot machines will hurt the profits of Veikkaus but the company will have time to prepare to offset its expected losses.
In a statement, Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus said
The pressure to maintain our financial performance has been high. The price has been that we haven’t been able to reduce gambling problems well enough and we’ve been content with them not increasing.
Veikkaus Looks To Change Public Perception
Veikkaus has come under immense criticism in recent times due to its marketing campaigns and advertisements. The general public has not been happy at how Veikkaus has gone about its business which includes placing slot machines in public places and aggressive marketing campaigns.
The betting agency has taken this feedback seriously and has made changes to its marketing campaigns as well as its internal policies. Veikkaus has also promised to install identification technology in all of its slot machines which will be extremely useful in the fight against problem gambling.
The ID technology is expected to be installed in all slot machines before the end of January 2021. Veikkaus will also require all gamblers to produce some form of identification in order to be allowed access to any form of gambling, with the only exception being scratch cards. This will be completed in 2023.
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