Veikkaus, the state-owned gambling operator in Finland, said that it plans to close gaming arcades and cut down on staff as part of preparations for the eventual end of the gambling monopoly.
The Finnish government has plans to eliminate Veikkaus’ gamblingmonopoly by the year 2026. The Finnish government is trying to raise the low channelisation rate of Finland, compared with other countries.
Private companies can now apply for a license to operate online casinos and sports betting. Veikkaus will retain its monopoly for retail slot machines and lottery.
Plans also suggest dividing Veikkaus in separate companies within the group. This would reverse a 2017 merger between betting brand Veikkaus, slot business Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse race betting operator Fintoto.
Veikkaus is already planning to end its monopoly. It said that this includes changes in its organizational structure. Further discussions will be held later this month.
Veikkaus plans arcade closures
Veikkaus warns that the restructuring could result in the loss of 240 jobs, even though the plans are not yet finalized. Another 195 employees may also be subject to “significant” changes regarding their employment.
The operator plans to reduce its gaming venues’ number from 65 to 40 to 50. Talks are also ongoing about the possible closure its Tampereen Casino.
Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus, said that preparing for the changes in gaming and internationalisation is a very important part Veikkaus growth strategy. “We’re building a future in which Veikkaus will be Finland’s largest gambling company, and a major international player.
“We need to be vital and competitive on the future monopoly and licence markets. We need to make changes that will affect our entire business.
“It’s a lot of parallel changes.” Profitability and growth are the main factors we consider when we examine the whole organisation. We must also make tough decisions. These changes could mean the end of employment for some. “We care for them and take care of their needs.”