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Veikkaus to implement mandatory scratchcard identification checks

| By Robert Fletcher
Finland’s gambling monopoly Veikkaus will introduce mandatory identification checks on scratchcard games from next year.
Veikkaus identification scratchcard

Beginning 1 January 2024, players will need to show identification to purchase scratchcards and claim any winnings. Veikkaus says this will apply to games such as the Ässä and Casino lottery.

Valid identification includes driving licences, “Kela” cards and Veikkaus cards, the latter of which is provided by the operator. 

Until the end of 2023, scratchcards will be sold as before. Any winnings from scratchcards purchased in 2023 can be claimed without having to provide identification. This is in line with the country’s Lottery Act.

Scratchcards are the last product group to be added to games that require players to show identification. Consumers have had to provide identification for coupon games such as Lotto and Eurojackpot since last May.

“Conditions for identification of scratchcards are good,” Veikkaus director of sweepstakes Ville Venojärvi said. “We have a very large customer base with the identification of coupon games. Identification is already a familiar operating method to our customers.

“Veikkaus is one of the first gaming companies in the world where playing both digital and physical channels, including scratchcards, requires identification. With identification, we prevent gaming disadvantages, strengthen age limit monitoring and build a safer gaming environment for everyone.”

Veikkaus to roll out new scratchcard draw game

In related news, Veikkaus has announced it will launch a new, scratchcard-based draw game in 2024.

Players who purchase scratchcards and do not win can enter them into a daily draw at points of sale across Finland. Five prizes of €1,000 will be drawn daily.

“The new additional draw offers excitement to scratchcard players more often than before,” Venojärvi said. “Participating in the new additional lottery is easier and we respond to customers’ wishes with reforms.”

Finland set to open up gambling market

The news comes with Veikkaus set to lose its gambling monopoly in Finland. Last month, the country’s ministry of the interior set out plans to establish a regulated market by 2026.

This will see a licensing system introduced and the Veikkaus online monopoly come to an end. However, it is thought Veikkaus will retain its monopoly status for the lottery and retail slot machines.

Although this will effectively end Veikkaus’ exclusivity in the gambling market, the operator is seemingly positive about the plans. Deputy CEO Velipekka Nummikoski says that Veikkaus welcomes the idea of regulation and will support the government with its efforts.

While Veikkaus supports the plans, this did not stop it from issuing a warning over possible job losses. Last month, Veikkaus said it expects to cut jobs and close gaming arcades as part of its preparations for the end of its monopoly.

Veikkaus warned that the restructure could lead to the loss of approximately 240 jobs. The operator also plans to reduce the number of its gaming venues from 65 to between 40 and 50. 

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