At a Loss, Less is More in Finland

Finland’s Ministry of Interior has extended the imposition of a €500 daily loss limit for most online games run by Veikkaus, the state-owned betting agency, until the end of the year.  The monthly loss limit went back up to €2,000.

The maximum loss limit was introduced in May in Finland “to protect players from gambling unsustainably during the novel coronavirus crisis,” explained a ministry spokesperson.

“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.”

The limit will apply to “fast-paced online games” — specifically online lotteries, slots and bingo — as well as table games, except poker.

Players will be required to set their own daily and monthly limits, which may not be above €500 daily or €2000 monthly.

Although land-based operations have reopened, the ministry stressed that it is still concerned about a potential rise in problem gambling as Finland continues to deal with the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

“Restrictions have been lifted but the coronavirus situation may still be associated with the risks of excessive gambling,” added the spokesperson.

Veikkaus, meantime, has also announced that it has changed the rules for its popular Toto75 horse racing game, lowering the value but upping the frequency of the smallest prize from €2 to €1.50.

Last month, Veikkaus revealed that it anticipates 2020 profits to fall by as much as €300m (£268.6m/US$354.5m), after reporting a 28.1 per cent year-on-year decline in gross revenue and 33.6 per cent drop in profit for H1.

While retail revenue collapsed during lockdown, online revenue did not grow significantly enough to plug the gap.

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