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Veikkaus to introduce ID verification for slots from 12 January

| By Robin Harrison
Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus has confirmed that compulsory identity verification controls will be in place across its network of slot machines from 12 January, 2021.
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It had previously pledged to roll out the feature by the end of January, but has now confirmed that this will be in place earlier than planned. After its long-awaited introduction, players must log in order to gamble on the slots, and will also be able to self-exclude from the terminals. 

This, however, will only be introduced at devices hosted in third party locations. Account-based play will not be rolled out at Veikkaus’ proprietary slot arcades until summer next year. 

A pilot programme for the account-based play began in September, before being expanded to more regions in November.

Its introduction follows efforts by Veikkaus to reduce the number of slots in operation across the country, with 8,000 to be taken offline by the end of the year. Having originally committed to taking 3,500 devices out of service, it increased this number in June.

In related news, Veikkaus will find out tomorrow (16 December) if it will to have to keep its land-based operations in a number of regions of the country shuttered as a result of rising novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. 

Current restrictions, imposed since late November amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in multiple regions, are due to expire today (15 December). There are currently just three districts – Lapland, Eastern Savo and North Savo – in which it can offer land-based gaming.

“We continue following the instructions and will act accordingly,” the operator’s senior vice president of channels and sales Jari Heino said. “The authorities have access to the best expertise available as regards the coronavirus pandemic, and we will naturally act in compliance with their instructions.”

This shut-down of the operator’s Casino Helsinki venue, and its Feel Vegas and Pelaamo arcade chains, has prompted the operator to enter negotiations with staff over temporary lay-offs, of up to 90 days. 

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