28,400 Players Self-Exclude in Finland

Finland’s chief gambling monopoly Veikkaus has recently revealed that upwards of 30,000 Finnish gamblers have chosen to opt into the country’s self-exclusion system, thereby barring themselves from gambling offerings such as slot machines and online gaming. The results follow operator Veikkaus’ efforts to better promote responsible gambling in Finland.

A stunning night scene of Finland’s world-famous Northern Lights, dancing atop a dark, snowy landscape.

Almost 30,000 Finnish gamblers have signed up for the country’s new self-exclusion system, according to Finland’s monopoly operator Veikkaus. The players will be barring themselves from gambling offerings such as slot machines and online gaming, as part of Veikkaus’ efforts to better promote responsible gambling in Finland.

Majority of Players Who Self-Excluded Are Men

The main gambling monopoly of Finland, Veikkaus, has revealed that its campaign for promoting safer and more responsible gambling in the country has so far proven successful: almost 30,000 Finnish gamblers have signed up for the country’s self-exclusion system.

These encouraging results mean that players have willingly chosen to self-exclude themselves from access to gambling offerings, such as slot machines, casinos — and even online gambling. When breaking down the self-exclusion numbers, it was revealed how there were 28,400 total self-exclusions, with 5,600 targeting specifically slot machines, while an additional 2,450 were self-exclusions lasting for an indefinite period of time.

Commenting on the increased players choosing to opt into Finland’s self-exclusion system, Veikkaus vice president for corporate social responsibility Jarmo Kumpulainen explained:

“We have noticed that self-exclusions on Slots Gaming have become more frequent, as more options have been available. However, we will not be able to analyze the situation thoroughly until after the exceptional conditions are over – the fact is that we currently only have ten percent of the machines up and running, due to the coronavirus.”Jarmo Kumpulainen, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Veikkaus

The vast majority of the self-exclusions, however, were for online gambling — 27,500 to be exact. Some players even went to the length of self-excluding themselves from both slot machines and iGaming offerings.

Finally, of all players who chose to self-exclude themselves from gambling as part of Veikkaus’ recent initiative — 77% were men.

Veikkaus Aims to Better Promote Responsible Gambling in Finland

The increase in Finnish players choosing to self-exclude themselves from the country’s gambling offerings arrives on the heels of monopoly operator Veikkaus implementing a series of measures designed to better promote responsible gambling in the country.

A notable measure as part of Veikkaus’ initiative is the implementation of mandatory age verification on slot machines located in public spaces.

Alongside this measure comes the option for players to set themselves a self-exclusion period for a fixed stretch of time.

Veikkaus also notably took out a number of slot machines out of service as coronavirus (Covid-19) cases began to spike in Finland in December 2020.

Vice president of corporate social responsibility Jarmo Kumpulainen explained the company’s rationale behind efforts to improve safer gambling in Finland:

“We want to build a gambling environment where we bear responsibility for those who are at risk of getting into trouble with their gaming. Compulsory authentication has brought us many new kinds of opportunities to do so.”

In closing, Kumpulainen reaffirmed Veikkaus’ commitment to safer gaming:

“Veikkaus continues to work for safer gaming, and we are constantly planning diverse new solutions to help our customers manage their gaming better. We want to be a trailblazer of responsible gaming.”

Account-Linked Slots Were First Tried in Finland in October 2020

As part of the revised Finnish Lotteries Act, along with outside pressure to better tackle problem gambling in Finland, monopoly Veikkaus first launched its identity verification system for slot machines in October 2020.

The recently revised Finnish Lotteries Act made it a legal obligation for operators that manage physical gambling locations to verify the identity and age of all of its customers. While the bill is set to come into effect only in 2023, Veikkaus has distinguished itself as a staunch supporter of the legislation and subsequent efforts to improve consumer protections for Finnish gamblers.

It, therefore, made the decision to undertake the implementation of age and identity verification controls on its slot machines two years earlier than the government had ordered, starting with the October pilot programme of identity verification-linked slots.

The trial attempt on behalf of Veikkaus was set to affect approximately 100 fixed-odds gambling machines across Finland.

The relative success of the initiative has seen the monopoly operator increase its efforts in this field, likely expanding the number of gambling terminals affected by this new regulation.

Covid-19 Still Poses Challenge for Finnish Gambling Halls

Meanwhile, as Veikkaus spearheads efforts to better promote and improve safer gambling in Finland following strong calls by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) demanding an end to Veikkaus’ monopoly— the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic still rages on in Finland. After nearly all gambling outlets in hard-hit parts of Finland were shut by Veikkaus at the end of November, the Finnish operator was faced with the tough decision to shut all gambling halls in the country’s Satakunta region once again, shortly after their reopening, at the end of January 2021.

The move followed the country’s Satakunta region re-entering the “acceleration” phase of Covid-19 measures after a spike in coronavirus cases, with Veikkaus having just recently restarted its slot machines and reopened its gaming halls in the region on January 16th, 2021.

The frustration surrounding the renewed closures prompted Veikkaus to promise its customers that it would resume all gaming services as soon as measures connected to curbing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic are relaxed.

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A person sitting in front of several stacks of poker chips while peeking at his cards.

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