Finland’s Veikkaus state-run gambling monopoly is firming up plans for a new casino while accelerating plans to firm up social responsibility measures at its land-based slots network.
Last week, Veikkaus announced that it expects to launch its latest casino in the Finnish city of Tampere in December 2021. Casino Tampere will operate out of the under-development 15k-seat UROS Live hockey arena, which will open to the public at the same time.
Veikkaus said customers entering the new casino will be subject to a version of the company’s new mandatory authentication program. Customers at Casino Helsinki, for example, are currently required to register to gain entrance, but as of spring 2021 they will be required to show a Casino Card to play slots or table games.
This Casino Card differs from the ‘Loyalty Card’ that Veikkaus issues to permanent residents of Finland, which are intended for slots play at Veikkaus-run Pelaamo and Feel Vegas Arcades, as well as the ‘decentralized’ slots at third-party operators (restaurants, gas stations, etc.).
Veikkaus is rolling out mandatory authentication for decentralized slots play in January 2021, while the Veikkaus-run slots halls will follow next June. The idea behind the account-based play is to empower customers to set loss-limits or permanently ban themselves from gaming activity.
In April, Veikkaus imposed tougher temporary loss limits for online slots and other ‘fast-paced gambling games,’ ostensibly to reduce potential harm for Finnish gamblers bored out of their minds during pandemic lockdown. The legal loss limits — €1k per day and €2k per month — were lowered to €500 per month until September 30.
Last week, Veikkaus said it hopes to impose loss limits at its land-based slots by June 2021. Casino Helsinki would be exempt from this proposal, as will the new Tampere facility (presumably), as they cater to a larger number of foreign tourists, which lowers the potential blowback for the state of any problem gambling activity.
Finally, Veikkaus has warned customers that it recently discovered a Veikkaus-knockoff app in the Google Play online marketplace. The company warned customers that “a third party has misleadingly used Veikkaus’ name and company logo” but Veikkaus has “nothing to do with that application.” Veikkaus warned any customer who’d entered their username into this bogus app to change their password on the real Veikkaus product ASAP.
Veikkaus recently warned that its 2020 profits would likely come in around €300m below forecasts due to COVID-19. The company is also taking hits after accelerating many of its social responsibility measures in response to public suggestions that a more open and competitive model might serve Finland better than a state-run monopoly.