Finland Reduces Slot Play and Problem Gambling With Unique Focus-Based Approach

Published September 10, 2020 by Lee R

Finland Reduces Slot Play and Problem Gambling With Unique Focus-Based Approach

A key Scandinavian market has its own techniques for reducing problem gambling.

In another Scandinavian region, a slight decline in problem gambling has been reported by Finland's state-owned operator Veikkaus.

The Latest Results

The new figures show that 2.3% of the population comprising approximately 95,000 citizens is estimated to have a gambling problem according to a new study by market research specialist Taloustutkimus.

The Comparative Study

Taken from a study of 5,000 Finnish citizens between the ages of 15 and 79 interviewed between February and April this year, the total represents a 2.8% drop from problem gambling from the previous survey of November 2019.

The decline from 2017 is proportionally more substantive, as down 28.6% from the 3.3% problem gambling rate of a December 2017 survey.

The Offshore Factor

Of the players with gambling problems, 26% identified Veikkaus as the only operator they played with, with 15% of self-professed problem gamblers saying they played only with offshore unlicensed operators.

Slot Shutdowns

Veikkaus identified the Covid-caused shut-downs of its slot machine network between March and July the single most influential market factor impacting both the market and problem gambling.


Any covid-related shifts to online gaming minimally impacted Veikkaus' digital offerings in terms of bottom line data in customer numbers and gaming revenue.

H1 2020 Figures

Overall, Veikkaus cautioned that 2020 profits were likely to fall up to €300m (£268.6m/$354.5m), in light of reported H1 year-on-year declines of 28.1% in gross revenue and 33.6% in profit.

Other H1 figures include a GGR drop to €607.2m, with Veikkaus attributing some €200m in Covid-related losses. This dented profit (€332.7m) to the tune of 33.6% year-on-year.

Slots Reductions

The vital slot machine reductions are set to continue as well, with a Veikkaus establishing a 2020 goal of 40% reduction to approximately 10,500 by year's end.

New Requirements for 2021

New mandatory legislation is set to take effect immediately afterwards in January 2021, which will require all players to hold accounts with operators in order to gamble. In the interim, beginning now, all slot machines will display timers that will notify players after every 15 minutes of play.


Understanding specific techniques for player protection in each vertical including slots can lead to a more comprehensive global infrastructure for protecting players according to the games they play the most.

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