Picture: Veikkaus

The updated strategy of the Finnish gaming monopoly, Veikkaus, is going to focus more on responsibility, the company revealed in a press conference on Thursday. The aim is to create a safer and more responsible gaming environment.

Veikkaus will reduce marketing and make it easier for the players to quit gaming. This will be seen in, for example, slot machine gaming: Veikkaus has decided to bring forward the adoption of compulsory identification on slot machines.

Compulsory identification will enable the players to set a permanent ban on their slot machine gaming. It also enables Veikkaus to prevent underage gaming. These measures will also have a significant impact on the total number of slot machines.

“The total number of slot machines will be reduced by up to 8,000 by the year 2025,” said Pekka Ilmivalta, the senior vice president of legal affairs and CSR at Veikkaus.

Veikkaus has about 18,500 slot machines in different parts of Finland: in kiosks, shops, restaurants, and service stations.

“Public social debate has been rightfully concerned about whether it is acceptable that those who are in the weakest position of all have to suffer to benefit the common good. The fact that the money goes to society and is further allocated to good purposes is probably not enough anymore to justify the problems caused,” said Olli Sarekoski, the Veikkaus president and CEO.

“The debate has called for Veikkaus’ responsibility toward individuals. Our honest answer is that we have responded to the debate by appealing to our responsibility towards society. That is not enough,” Sarekoski said.

According to Sarekoski, player-centered responsibility will be even more closely part of Veikkaus’ core activities.

“Veikkaus will bring forward compulsory identification by a year from what was laid down by the parliament last spring. In other words, compulsory identification will already be introduced in January 2021,” Sarekoski said.

Another big strategic goal, according to Veikkaus, is that the company wants to secure its leading market position in Finland even in the digital environment in 2025. Their third objective is to be able to compete in the international B2B business.