North Karelia Slot Players Return to Action
In good news for Finnish slot players, last Saturday the state-owned operator Veikkaus reopened its slot machine venues and the Joensuu Gaming Hall in the North Karelia region.
The reopening was allowed thanks to an improvement in the coronavirus pandemic in the region. It has now moved from an acceleration phase to the basic level, which has enabled the reopening of slot machines in kiosks, shops, traffic stations, and the gaming hall.
Veikkaus is in charge of monitoring the state of the pandemic in the region and making decisions about which venues may operate on a region-by-region basis. The basic rule is that any region where there is a basic level of infection may operate its gaming facilities while regions where the virus is spreading or accelerating may not.
Last month Veikkaus introduced a number of new player protection measures meaning that players using the operator’s decentralized slot machines must now verify their identity using either a Veikkaus card or a debit card that is linked to their player loyalty account.
When the measures were introduced, Veikkaus said that they expect these to have significant financial consequences and predicted a fall in player losses of roughly €300 million from this and its other measures. The hope is that it will help players stay in control of their gambling and remain within their budgets.
The North Karelia region is not the only district open to slot players. Last week saw the reopening of slot machines in the Kainuu region after being closed since 13 January while facilities in the Southern Savonia region have been operating since 20 January.
However, the situation is still volatile and being carefully monitored. For instance, gambling facilities opened in Satakunta on 16 January but were closed less than two weeks later on 29 January.