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The maximum Loss Limits of Veikkaus Oy’s Online Gambling Games Reduced to EUR500

May 2, 2020 | Government

A project to reform the Lottery Act is underway

Police Board Ministry of the Interior 04/28/2020 15.27

PRESS RELEASE 33/2020

FINLAND  – The loss limits of Veikkaus Oy’s fast-paced gambling games played online are calculated. The maximum loss limit is reduced to EUR 500 (currently 2000) per month and EUR 500 (currently 1000) per day. The changes to the regulations will take effect on 1.5. and are valid until 30.9.2020. The aim of the change is to improve the prevention and reduction of economic, social and health harms caused by gambling during a coronavirus epidemic.

During a coronavirus epidemic, most people spend more time at home than usual, which can increase the risk of gambling online getting looted. At the same time, many are in a difficult financial situation anyway. With the regulation, we will curb the growth of gambling disadvantages related to online gambling in exceptional circumstances,” says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

In order to prevent coronavirus infections, Veikkaus Oy has so far closed all decentralized slot machines, the company’s gaming halls and the gaming casino in Helsinki. Due to the current restrictions related to the coronavirus epidemic and the increased presence at home, gambling may shift to fast-paced online gambling and gambling with a particular risk of gambling harm. Fast-paced games refer to Veikkaus Oy’s eBingo, Tähdenlento, virtual betting and electronic cash lotteries (online lotteries) as well as electronically transmitted casino games and slot machine games.

In fast-paced online gambling, in addition to the maximum loss limit, all players must set their own daily and monthly loss limits. The player can change the loss limits he has set. However, the limits set themselves may not be higher than the maximum loss limits laid down in the Regulation.

Lower loss thresholds are still necessary from the point of view of preventing and reducing gambling harm, even if the current restrictions on the coronavirus epidemic are lifted. This is justified, inter alia, by the fact that consumers’ financial difficulties as a result of the epidemic are likely to continue for longer.

Gambling games by gambling companies outside mainland Finland may not be marketed

In mainland Finland, gambling may only be offered by Veikkaus Oy. Calculating the maximum loss limit may result in at least some of the players switching to gambling outside mainland Finland.

It is foreseeable that the situation will attract international players offering gambling to Finland to increase their marketing efforts, contrary to Finnish legislation.

The fact that the Ministry of the Interior ends up protecting gamblers by lowering the loss limit in exceptional circumstances must not mean that foreign players who illegally offer gambling to Finland would benefit from the situation,” says Saaramia Varvio, Head of the Lottery Administration of the Police Board .

Foreign gambling operators use in their marketing methods that are prohibited in the Finnish gambling system by the Lotteries Act. Among other things, the National Board of Police considers various welcome offers to gamble, such as deposit bonuses and free spins, to be marketing tools that are not permitted in Finland due to their aggressive nature. Such activities weaken the ability of the Finnish system to combat the disadvantages of gambling. When playing outside mainland Finland, the Police Board is also unable to guarantee the legal security of players in unclear situations.

I would call in particular for the responsibility of Finnish public figures in the marketing of gambling. Gambling causes significant economic, health and social harm to many individuals, which is also reflected in their families and other close associates. Public marketing activities make gambling more commonplace, lower the threshold to participate in gambling and create a distorted picture of easy earning potential,” Varvio continues.

The task of the Police Board is to supervise Veikkaus Oy’s exclusive gambling activities and marketing as well as to intervene in illegal activities. The National Board of Police will also continue to monitor social media marketing. In addition, control measures against TV channels from abroad to mainland Finland will be promoted in order to put an end to illegal advertisements broadcast on the channels. The measures are primarily based on control measures under the Lotteries Act.

A project to reform the Lottery Act is underway

The Ministry of the Interior is currently working on a project to reform the lottery law, with the aim of identifying the need to reform the lottery law, in particular to further strengthen the prevention and reduction of gambling harm. In addition, the aim is to find out the legislative means that could support Veikkaus Oy’s operating preconditions. The project examines, among other things, the extension of mandatory identification, the regulation of gambling and anti-lottery marketing, and the introduction of barriers to payment transactions in order to limit non-exclusive gambling.

Additional information:

Counselor Jukka subsidies, the Ministry of Interior, T: 0295 488 573.

Jukka.tukia@intermin.fi Interior Minister, Special Adviser to Jarno Lappalainen, T: 040 053 6973 (Minister of interview requests).

Group Manager Jarkko Mikkola , the National Police Board, T: 0295 481 862,. Jarkko. mikkola@poliisi.fi.

SOURCE: Ministry of the Interior press release 28.4.2020.

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