The limit will apply to “fast paced online games”, specificially online lotteries, slots and bingo, as well as for table games, with an exception for poker. Players will be required to set their own daily and monthly limits, which both may not be above €500.
Players were subject to a €2,000 monthly cap, and a €1,000 weekly loss limit until 1 May, when a €500 monthly and weekly cap on maximum losses was introduced to protect players from gambling unsustainably during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
The higher limit was originally intended to be restored on 1 October. Instead, a new order that keeps the reduced loss limits in place until the end of 2020.
“Maximum loss limits were lowered due to the pandemic,” the Ministry said. “The aim was to improve the prevention and reduction of gambling-related harm in a situation where time spent at home increased due to the restrictions and recommendations in force at the time, and the lack of physical slot machine and casino gaming opportunities could shift gaming to Veikkaus’ online gaming service.”
The Ministry added that while land-based options are available again, it is still concerned about a potential rise in problem gambling as Finland deals with the pandemic.
“Although restrictions have been lifted, the coronavirus situation may still be associated with the risks of excessive gambling,” it said.
It added that it felt a loss limit would be more effective than a time limit because losses are typically a better determinant of whether a player may be at risk of problem gambling.
“Monitoring and research on problem gambling suggests that, in the short term or on individual occasions, the loss of large sums is more often associated with problem gambling than high consumption over a longer period of time,” it said.
In addition, Veikkaus has announced that it has changed the rules for its Toto75 horse racing game, lowering the smallest prize from €2 to €1.50, as previously announced rule changes mean this prize will be given out more frequently.
Last month, Veikkaus revealed that it expects its 2020 profits to fall by as much as €300m (£268.6m/$354.5m), after reporting a 28.1% year-on-year decline in gross revenue and 33.6% drop in profit for the first half of the year. While retail revenue collapsed during lockdown, it said online revenue did not grow significantly to make up for this.