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Veikkaus closes gaming facilities in Kainuu

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Finnish monopoly operator Veikkaus has closed its slot machines in the region of Kainuu in response to local authorities’ decisions regarding the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Betsson Finland

According to the authorities, the spread of the virus in Kainuu has moved from a low level to an accelerated phase, so Veikkaus started the process of closing slot machines in the region yesterday, 13 January.

In the Central Ostrobothnia region, however, the situation has returned to a low level, and Veikkaus will therefore reopen the Kokkola Gaming Hall and slot machines in the region today. Kokkola Pelaamo will open at 10:00AM, while slot machines were reopened at 05:00AM.

Based on instructions given by the board of directors of Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Veikkaus has decided to close its venues and slot machines by individual region.

The Covid-19 situation is monitored by the operator in each of the nation’s hospital districts, and when one district enters an accelerated or spreading phase, machines and venues are closed no later than the next working day.

If the district is at a basic level, Veikkaus’ slot machines and gaming venues – Casino Helsinki, Feel Vegas and Pelaamot – can be reopened.

Machines and venues are currently closed in the operating areas of almost all of Finland’s districts. When slot machines reopen, they will require proof of identification as of Tuesday 12 January, in accordance with the mandatory ID laws which have entered into force.

The compulsory identification of players is one of a number of consumer protection measures brought in, which the operator said would cut player losses by up to €300m.

Another measure brought in was the reduction of maximum weekly loss limits from €2000 to €500. The measure was introduced as temporary in April, and was due to expire in October, however it was subsequently extended until the end of 2020.

In December, Veikkaus began consultations over temporary lay-offs with up to 800 employees in response to the enforced closure of its retail locations.

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