Veikkaus may very well be capturing itself within the foot with new measures supposed to guard prospects. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A Scandinavian subject
Channelization… it’s a time period you’ll usually hear bandied round in discussions concerning European gaming markets. It’s additionally a phrase repeated by regulators as they clarify tighter guidelines, and weaponized by market stakeholders as they search to keep away from these exact same measures.
Nordic international locations battle to maintain residents playing through authorized means
In a single space of Europe, this phrase appears much more prevalent. The Scandinavian markets of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland have all had their struggles in regard to channelization. On account of robust regulation and monopolized gaming sectors, these Nordic international locations battle to maintain residents playing through authorized means.
This in flip impacts drawback playing charges, for which Finland is especially responsible. Though nonetheless low, its 0.8% fee is almost 3 times larger than Spain and the UK. Now, the nation has introduced new measures supposed to guard its gamblers additional, but it surely doesn’t notice that these guidelines will solely tip the steadiness even additional in opposition to them.
This week, Finland’s state-owned operator Veikkaus introduced that it has launched new ID measures for all of its video games, each retail and on-line. It’s a first-of-its-kind measure within the international gaming trade and the corporate believes it is going to assist defend underage people and weak gamblers, permitting involved gamblers to test their income and losses.
Veikkaus has asserted that the transition will go easily and customers will quickly get used to the brand new guidelines. Nevertheless, the measures, which got here into impact on January 1, will undoubtedly trigger some aggravation for gamblers. Relatively than having the ability to entry their favourite video games on demand as regular, they should present certainly one of a variety of ID choices earlier than they will get enjoying.
the one various to Veikkaus is unlawful playing websites
Whereas guaranteeing that no underage people are playing is undeniably factor, introducing a blanket identification system for all video games may flip customers away from Veikkaus. In a monopoly like Finland’s, the one various to Veikkaus is unlawful playing websites which can not have any protections in place.
Additionally it is vital to notice that rather more mature markets, such because the UK, haven’t applied such measures. Regulators and operators should not have deemed this vital, which is especially vital given the meticulous scrutiny that the UK sector faces from quite a few angles. It isn’t even a measure that playing opponents are brazenly in search of – maybe for good cause.
Transferring to multi-license
It appears that evidently by introducing this measure, Finland’s operator is trying to make a really public assertion of its intention to guard prospects. This comes after the agency discovered that fifty% of Finnish playing takes place on unlicensed websites, in accordance with a examine performed in 2023.
The identical report urged that shifting to an open market in Finland would “considerably enhance” the channelization to authorized playing. It’s a transfer that Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski agreed ought to occur, so long as the transition takes place “quicker somewhat than slowly.”
will lead to job cuts and main operational modifications for Veikkaus
The Finnish authorities has since confirmed it is going to transition to a partial multi-license system by 2026. The proposal will permit personal corporations to use for betting and on line casino licenses, whereas Veikkaus will proceed to deal with lotteries and retail slots. It’s a transfer that can lead to job cuts and main operational modifications for Veikkaus, already together with the closure of On line casino Tempere and 19 different gaming arcades in December.
Regardless of the promising information, a brand new system by 2026 is maybe not the speedy transition the Veikkaus CEO hoped for. Within the meantime, the operator is caught capturing itself within the foot, making an attempt to guard drawback gamblers with tighter measures whereas concurrently pushing gamblers to unlicensed websites. It appears that evidently changeover actually can’t come quickly sufficient.