Veikkaus will lose €30m through 2020 slot reductions

By Owain Flanders

Veikkaus has vowed to remove one-fifth of its slot machines from Finnish shops by the end of 2020 – a total of 3,500.

Speaking at a press conference in October, Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski admitted the company had not done enough to reduce gambling problems, vowing to turn the operator’s attention towards providing a more responsible gaming environment for its customers.

A recent citizen’s initiative called for the removal of slot machines from Finnish shops and kiosks amid concerns over problem gambling in the country.

Marko Peltokorpi, EVP of the state-run monopoly operator, said there will be no more than seven slot machines at any one point of sale by the end of next year.

The number of slot machines in smaller shops, kiosks and restaurants will drop to five.

Peltokorpi expects the reduction in slot machines to significantly impact Veikkaus’ profits, with an approximate loss of €30m ($33.2m) by the end of 2020.

The operator has also pledged to introduce verification technology for slot machines in 2021.

In August, Veikkaus suspended purchased advertising after Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare described its slogans as "at odds with public health communication."

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