Veikkaus social responsibility moves will cut earnings by €50m


finland-veikkaus-gambling-social-responsibility-earningsFinland’s Veikkaus gambling monopoly says its new social responsibility efforts will cut its annual revenue to a level not seen in six years.

On Wednesday, Veikkaus issued an update on its ongoing efforts to improve its responsible gambling policies. The state-run firm has been on the defensive since this summer, when it aired some truly ill-advised ads urging gamblers to (we’re paraphrasing) ignore the voices in their heads suggesting restraint and just gamble already.

The outcry from the Finnish public – which was already skeptical of the need to retain a state-run gambling monopoly – prompted Veikkaus to pledge a number of social responsibility changes, including culling 3.5k of its 18,500 slots outside casinos in 2020 and advancing its plan to require mandatory identification of users before permitting slots play by January 2021.

Veikkaus said Wednesday that the effect of these changes will likely trim €50m off its 2020 earnings while its annual revenue is expected to shrink to around €963m, the sum generated by Finland’s three state-run gambling monopolies in 2014 before they were all grouped under the Veikkaus banner.

The new social responsibility focus will also affect the performance bonuses earned by Veikkaus’ senior execs. Should the company exceed its “threshold for gaming damage” metrics, 40% of any senior manager’s bonus will be “cut off completely.”

Veikkaus also said future earnings reports will adopt a more universal approach to gauging performance. In other words, the company will report each division’s results in terms of revenue rather than turnover. Veikkaus was forced to clarify its figures in October after local media confused the company’s €11b slots turnover with money the company was actually taking from Finnish punters as revenue.

Veikkaus also offers online gambling and the company said that it would in future “focus more and more strongly on the digital channel” as it retrenches its land-based operations.