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Casino Tampere axed as Veikkaus confirms job cuts

| By iGB Editorial Team
Veikkaus will cut about a quarter of its workforce and divide operations into three distinct units ahead of the end of its gambling monopoly in Finland.
Veikkaus Casino Tampere

Veikkaus confirmed that “about 185-215” of its 825 employees will lose their jobs after the operator concluded staff consultations. Additionally, there will be material changes in employment terms for “about 110-150” workers.

The operator also announced it will close Casino Tampere on 9 December, less than two years after the facility opened.

After concluding talks with staff representatives, 19 other gaming arcades will shut down on 22 December.

Veikkaus splits operations into three units

Under the broader changes, Veikkaus’ will effectively be split into three operational units led by senior vice-presidents.

Nora Vähävirta, currently chief operating officer of business operations, will oversee domestic games of chance, slot machines and arcades. Meanwhile, Jarkko Nordlund, who joined Veikkaus as executive director in September, will lead domestic online casino and betting operations.

Jonas Reuter, who was also recently hired by Veikkaus, will lead the operator’s international business. Reuter, a former IGT and Scientific Games executive, was appointed in September as EVP, international business area.

Layoffs not as severe as initially expected

Although the upcoming staffing changes at Veikkaus are considerable, they are not as severe as first anticipated.

When restructuring talks commenced in September, Veikkaus warned that up to 240 jobs could be cut. Employment changes were also anticipated for a further 195 employees.

Heli Lallukka, executive vice-president of human resources, said “smaller final figures” were finalised following “constructive dialogue with personnel representatives”.

Lallukka added: “In the coming years, we will be making significant investments to strengthen our competitiveness. We already have top-level professionalism… but in the future, we will also need know-how from outside the company.”

The exact dates of the employment changes will be determined by the end of this year.

Arcade closures

Casino Tampere employs around 80 staff and is one of 65 gaming venues currently operated by Veikkaus in Finland.

Game arcade operations will close at Playhouse-branded venues including Joensuu Siltakatu, Helsinki Redi, Lappeenranta IsoKristiina, Espoo Ainoa and Pori Puuvilla. Playhouse Lahti Trio, Lempäälä Ideapark, Imatra Mansikkala, Helsinki Kaisaniemi, Hämeenlinna Goodman, Mikkeli Akseli, Turku Skanssi and Lappeenranta Leiri will close.

The Veikkaus-branded arcades at Turku Aurakatu, Kuopio Kästyökatu and Helsinki Tripla will also shut. The Pelaamo Seinäjoki Ideapark and Oulu Kauppurienkatu operations will also close, along with Game Room at Tornio Raja, in December.

Monopoly model coming to an end in Finland

In June the Finnish government announced plans to end Veikkaus’ gambling monopoly by 2026 as part of wide-ranging reforms.

The primary aim is to reduce financial and social harms of gambling by channelling more consumers to licensed operators. According to a report released in April, about 50% of gaming activity in the country happens on unlicensed platforms.

The proposed new system would allow private companies to apply for a licence to run sports betting and online casino. Veikkaus would retain its monopoly status for the lottery and retail slot machines.

However, Veikkaus is set to be carved up into separate companies within the same group. This would reverse a 2017 merger between betting brand Veikkaus, slot business Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse race betting operator Fintoto.

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