Veikkaus reopens slots and gaming hall in North Karelia

| By Conor Mulheir
Finnish state-owned operator Veikkaus reopened its slot machine venues and the Joensuu Gaming Hall in the North Karelia region on Saturday.

The reopening was permitted to take place as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the region moved from the acceleration phase to the basic level, allowing for the opening of slot machines in kiosks, shops and traffic stations, in addition to the gaming hall.

The Covid-19 situation is monitored by district within Veikkaus, and decisions regarding the closure or opening of venues take place on a region-by-region basis.

Any district showing a basic level of infection may reopen its gaming facilities, whereas any region in the acceleration or spreading phase must remain closed.

Players using Veikkaus’ decentralised slot machines must now, since the introduction of new player protection measures in January, identify themselves with either a Veikkaus card or a debit card attached to their player loyalty account.

The operator said at the time of introduction that the measure would have “significant financial consequences,” anticipating a decline in player losses of around €300m from this and other player protection measures.

The operator also said that the change would help players to stay in control of their gambling.

Last week, slot machines in the Kainuu region reopened after remaining closed since 13 January.

Gaming facilities in Southern Savonia remain open since 20 January, whereas some regions have seen less consistent measures introduced. Gambling activities resumed in Satakunta from 16 January, and closed again less than two weeks later on 29 January.

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