Veikkaus, Finland’s gambling and lotteries monopoly, has initiated a ‘transformation programme’ to brace itself for a significant ‘system change’ in Finnish gambling. The company anticipates that proceedings will commence this fall.
Earlier this year, the Finnish government confirmed its intention to terminate Veikkaus’ monopoly privileges by 2026. This move is part of a broader strategy to restructure Finland’s gambling market.
Upon the loss of certain monopoly rights, Veikkaus will cease to run an exclusive online gambling business. Instead, Finland plans to open its online market to international operators from 2026 onwards.
While Veikkaus will retain its monopoly over lottery and arcade slot machines, it has confirmed that its online business “will transition to the international licensed gaming market.”
Group CEO, Olli Sarekoski, told the media: “We are gearing up for changes. The evolution in the gaming industry and internationalisation are pivotal to Veikkaus’ growth strategy. We envision a future where Veikkaus stands as Finland’s premier gambling company and a significant entity in the international arena.”
Currently, the Veikkaus board is assessing the group’s organisational structure, which has been impacted by 825 amendments to Finland’s gambling regulations.
These structural shifts will result in the termination of approximately 240 employees and a change in employment terms for up to 195 staff members.
Veikkaus has also acknowledged plans to reduce the number of gaming locations from 65 to 40–50 arcades and is contemplating the closure of the Tampere casino.
In closing, Sarekoski remarked: “The modifications in the gambling sector and the imminent system overhaul signify a novel epoch for Veikkaus. This entails a myriad of concurrent changes.
“We’re evaluating the entire organisation with an emphasis on profitability and expansion. Admittedly, we’ll be making some tough decisions. For a few, these adjustments might mark the end of their employment tenure. We remain committed to supporting and caring for the affected individuals.”