Finland Cuts Gambling Loss Limits

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An official or state decree is something that is normally issued by a governing or legal body. One such decree has recently been given to its people, by Finland’s Ministry of Interiors. The reason for doing this is to assist in minimizing significant losses in regards to online gambling products operated by its legal entities during the current climate. This article will shine a light on this recent precautionary measure and what it entails for its people.

Let’s take a step back and look at the holistic picture for a second…

Finland offers gambling facilities both online, for example Trustly casino, and in all of its casinos. These facilities offer its people an endless variety of multiple games via gambling, betting, and increasing your bankroll.  Games include slot machines, open TOP table games, card games, poker, horse and dog racing, bingo, to name a few.

Four of the only operators that run these facilities are:

1. Veikkaus Oy – one of the biggest, that covers mainly sports betting, instant win games, and the national lottery.

2. RAY (or Raha-automaattiyhdistys) Is a non-profit organization that runs, amongst other things, the slot machines in the region. They cover all the land-based casinos, including table games, and some of the typical games such as roulette.

3. Fintoto Oy covers the horse racing arenas.

4. PAF covers the realm of gambling through-out the Aland Province.


What the Decree Entails

The announcement in question comes as a result of a precautionary measure taken towards the current pandemic climate of quarantines and lock-downs, which will encourage people to register on online gambling websites, possibly out of boredom, at a faster pace than normal, which is why they are trying to keep them from ‘cutting their losses’…literally. Other countries have also started taking these measures towards its population.

The main section affected by this decree is the one that belongs to Veikkaus.  As of March 13th, till September 30th, the rules have changed to a monthly loss cap from the standard from €2,000 to €500, while the weekly cap changed from €1,000 to the same, €500. In a nut-shell what this means is, once you have reached your €500 cap limit, you will not be able to go back into the same website to continue betting and playing online games.

Who Else Is Affected?

Veikkaus director Pekka Ilmivalta, has confirmed that it has already implemented these changes on all of its websites. Not because of this decree but because of the pandemic restrictions, existing betting shops have been closed since March whilst any of the lottery entities and all extras such as raffle tickets will still be sold but the payouts have been deferred to a later (to be confirmed date) since the beginning of May.

Albeit since it shut down, the operator has mentioned that they have lost almost €60m in just five weeks, but this was not as a result of its customer database migrating to other units. However, it is important to note that all this has been done in the best interest of the players.


Results So Far …

Since all the above measures were taken, Finland has reported losses amounting to just over 40% in revenues, and staff from different gaming companies and other industries, such as Veikkaus, 670+ employees, have had to be put on furlough temporarily for at least 90 days. Plans to Lay off any of their staff have not been implemented yet but there is a possibility.


The Up-Side

As they say “every cloud has a silver lining”, it’s not all doom and gloom for all online players. As the company will continue to offer online options of poker, casinos, and bingo within limitations for the foreseeable future. It has also made arrangements to move any possible live table tournaments, online.

An example of this will be to move its famous yearly event held at the venue, “Midnight Sun Tournament”, to an online event that will run from the 1st of June to the 7th of June.

Another instance is in regards to the shared agreement it has with Austria’s casinos and the igaming brand “Win2Day” being made accessible to players online in Austria as well. Moving such traditional events online can be a bit tricky but with the advent of the right technology, anything is possible!

Who knows, this may just add another stream of income for the casino and its organizers using different methodologies to enhance the players' experiences online. Until everything has gone back to normal, all we can do is be patient, and work with what we have A lot of brilliant ideas over the past centuries have come about as a result of quarantines!

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