Veikkaus Strengthens Player Protection

The Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus now requires all customers to verify their identity in order to play its slots.

The new system requires players to use a virtual ID card that is accessible on a smartphone in order to log in and start playing. Veikkaus has said that this will have “significant financial consequences” and work in favor of players.

Jari Heino Sales director at Veikkaus

If a customer experiences gambling as problematic, as a result of this reform, for example, he has the opportunity to completely prevent himself from gambling on slot machines. For a large proportion of Finns, gambling is not problematic, but through this measure we want to offer preventive tools to those who are at risk of difficulties.

Jari HeinoSales director at Veikkaus

Furthermore, the new measures will make it easier to verify a player’s age. The measure has already been tested in a pilot scheme in certain regions since October 2020; it was expanded in November and was fully rolled out this week.

There are further measures planned for the coming year. The operator’s gaming halls will only accept players that verify their identities from July 2021, and it expects all of its games to require identity verification by 2023.

The measures come at the same time as a new government proposal appears to secure the future of Veikkaus. The Ministry of Interior announced that it was soliciting comments on a proposal to reform the Lotteries Act. The core components of the proposal are increased consumer protections, fighting the illegal gambling market, and “securing Veikkaus Oy’s capacity to channel the demand for gambling.”

The Ministry went on to say that the reform would be based upon “the state monopoly in line with the government program.” To achieve this aim, there are plans to give the National Police Board powers to put together a blacklist of internationally licensed gambling operators that offer their services in Finland. Furthermore, banks and payment processers would be required to block transactions to these sites from Finnish gamblers.

Support for Veikkaus remains generally high in Finland, around 72% according to a recent Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) report. However, the support seems to be dropping, especially amongst those aged 25 to 34, who object to the government preventing them from playing at international sites.

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