State-run Table Game Operations are Being Downsized in Reaction to the iGaming PreferencePublished February 2, 2019 by Lee R
Downsizing of table game-related activities is underway as a result of iGaming's strong competition.
In Finland, the rise of iGaming is actually driving land-based operations out of circulation.
Table Game Closures
In what could be the start of a growing trend worldwide, Finland’s state-owned gambling firm Veikkaus has announced the closure of all table game operations as a result of the continuing rise in competition from the online gambling sector.
The iGaming Competitive Factor
Veikkaus acknowledges that the rise in iGaming has been the source of a shrinking of table games for the monopoly for a decade running, with the state-run operator down some 1,000 sales points from 2012, with Veikkaus currently maintaining 6,500 retailer points of sale.
Veikkaus CEO Ollie Sarekoski officially said the losses have taken place because the company's “network of sales locations has shrunk significantly.”
Veikkaus is the first domestic operation to allow table gaming for Finland nationals, with current operations having grown to 187 gaming tables across 162 locations spanning casinos, restaurants and bars.
Reports indicate that the shutdown of table operations brings about the “redundancy” of some 1,300 of their 2,000 strong workforce, with restaurant employees, sales agents and supply chain members among those targeted for redundancy negotiations as a result of reorganisation which might be more effectively translated to downsizing.
The First Layoffs
The first round of layoffs will reportedly target 400 staff positions in the failing in a restaurant gambling division.
The Helsinki region is affected the most by restructuring, with just under half of all employees affected by negotiations working in the capital region.
The Digital Gains
The digital channel currently contributes 42 per cent of Veikkaus' net sales, with almost 200 online casino games including table games available on average to 600,000 customers using services at veikkaus.fi each week.
Online Strategy Moving Forward
According to Sarekoski, Veikkaus is looking to increase it's foothold in online channels through resuscitating the point-of-sale network experiencing a drastic decrease over the past few years through the introduction of significant changes to the company's points of sale and restaurant table gaming activities, while also streamlining retailer functions.
The Veikkaus example could likely play out in other jurisdictions, including liberalised markets, as the benefits of low operating cause and convenience begin to outshines the greater leisures of physically attending games and casinos. As long as it costs less to play online, the more that channel will grow, with traditionalists seeking to attend casinos shrinking in comparison to the newer segment seeking fast engagement at a reduced cost.