Veikkaus in May last year was forced to introduce the measure for online customers in line with a decree from the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, aimed at reducing players’ losses during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The measure was initially seen as temporary but after the requirement was extended on a number of occasions, the government in June this year made loss limits permanent, with players limited to losing €500 (£428/$587) each day while playing online casino games with Veikkaus and €2,000 each month.
Veikkaus said that the same rules will now be applied to its physical slot machines at stores, kiosks, restaurants and service stations across Finland, as well as at its gaming arcades.
Customers wanting to play these slot machines must first authenticate themselves, in line with new rules introduced by the operator in January for its slot machines in stores, kiosks, restaurants and service stations. This was extended to Veikkaus gaming arcades from the beginning of July.
Players must then select a loss limit before they can begin playing the machines. The loss limits will be the same as when playing online casino games with the operator, ranging from between €1 and €500 a day and €1 and €2,000 per month.
“This is a major step on our sustainability journey, the destination of which is to enable our customers to engage in gaming that is even safer than before,” Veikkaus sustainability vice president Susanna Saikkonen said. “We are offering the players a more comprehensive set of tools with which they can control their gaming.
“We want to be a trailblazer of responsible gaming, showing the way to others. Responsible gaming also has major impacts on the economy. We have estimated that the responsibility measures we take reduce our return to the state by €300m annually.”
Veikkaus said since January, physical slot machine gaming has decreased by 30% in Finland. This, the operator said, was down to a 40% reduction in the number of machines it operates compared to the start of 2020, as well as the introduction of the new authentication rules and safer gambling control tools.
“Our customers now lose significantly less money on the physical slot machines than previously,” Saikkonen said. “It is important that the cuts are estimated to hit problematic gambling in particular; it is a sign that we are on the right path towards an even safer domestic gaming environment.”