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Veikkaus strikes agreement with OpenBet ahead of monopoly end

| By Marese O'Hagan
Veikkaus has entered into an agreement with OpenBet, which will see Veikkaus' fixed odds betting system updated to align with OpenBet's offerings.
Veikkaus OpenBet

The partnership has been struck well ahead of Veikkaus’ monopoly in Finland coming to an end in 2026. The Finnish government announced plans to end the current monopoly system in the country in June this year.

As part of the agreement, Veikkaus will also expand its Pitkäveto and Live Bet products in conjunction with OpenBet. Veikkaus’ build-a-bet offering will also be expanded to include new sports. OpenBet was chosen as Veikkaus’ new partner through public tendering .

The updates will be seen at sales points and on Veikkaus.fi at the end of 2024.

“We want to continue to be the number one choice for Finnish betting,” said Juha-Matti Mäkilä, vice-president of betting operations at Veikkaus. “With our new partner, we can offer our customers the best possible customer experience in the future and include all the best features of the international betting market in Veikkaus betting.

“The reforms will help us diversify and adapt our offering to suit Finnish players as well as possible.”

Turbulent week at Veikkaus

Earlier this week, Veikkaus confirmed it will lay off around a quarter of its workforce as part of a restructuring. Veikkaus said “about 185-215” of its 825 employees will be hit with job losses, while “about 110-150” employees will experience material changes in employment terms.

The restructuring will split Veikkaus into three operational units, which are:

  • Domestic games of chance, slot machines and arcades
  • Domestic online casino and betting operations
  • International business

Veikkaus also announced it would close Casino Tampere on 9 December. The closure comes less than two years after it opened and will affect 80 employees.

Ending of Veikkaus’ Finnish monopoly

The plans to eradicate Finland’s current monopoly system would see a new licensing system be implemented in its place. This would consist of a new online casino and sports betting licence model.

The Finnish government said the primary aim of the reform is to reduce gambling harms. It also said the current policy on gambling “has not been successful”.

The new system has been widely supported – even before it was officially announced. In April, a Finnish government study found that carrying on with the current monopoly system was “not a recommended option”.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) backed the reform in October, hailing it as a “crucial milestone” for Finland. Veikkaus reiterated its support for the move after its H1 results in August.

“The most important thing is that more gambling can be channeled into licensed offerings than before and we think that the licence system best supports this goal and the development of more responsible gambling,” said Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus, as he introduced the H1 results.

Last month, the government announced how the pathway to the new system will play out. This will involve drawing up new proposals for the new system, covering licence fees, tax and other critical measures.

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