Finland’s Gambling Revenue Fell in Q3
The gambling industry in Finland has been the subject of controversy over the years. Despite the EU’s best efforts, the entire gambling market here is controlled by a state monopoly. Recent news reports now indicate that Finland’s gambling revenue declined last quarter.
Interestingly, profits have increased. Today, we’ll take a quick look at the state of this country’s gambling industry. We’re also going to look at how much money Finland’s only gambling operator managed to bring in over the past three months.
EU Continues to Call for Change to Finland’s Gambling Laws
The European Union has made it clear that it’s not happy with Finland’s current gambling regulations. Officials within the EU claim that the monopoly in this country violates Europe’s current laws. Members of Finland’s government have managed to push these complaints to the side, arguing that the monopoly is set in place to limit rates of gambling addiction.
Unfortunately, these attempts do not appear to be working completely. Gambling addiction is becoming a more serious issue here. Lawmakers, as a result, began looking for new ways to combat the rising rates of gambling addiction.
Back in May, the government here announced a new set of regulations on gambling advertisements. Finnish watchdog group Traficom announced that it intended to ban all gambling ads from television and radio. Veikkaus, the country’s only gambling company, immediately protested against these new measures.
Unfortunately, officials in this country are still showing no interest in opening the country’s gambling market to foreign companies.
It’s unclear whether or not anything will ever change here.
Finland’s Gambling Revenue Declines in Q3
Veikkaus has just officially revealed its Q3 financial statements. According to these reports, Finland’s gambling revenue dropped during 2019’s third quarter. Thanks to some clever spending strategies, this company’s profits actually managed to increase.
Veikkaus’ gross gaming revenue over the past three months came out to €422.8 million, down 0.9% compared to the same period in 2018. Turnover came out to €733.9 million.
Lottery sales have managed to increase for much of 2019. Officials within Veikkaus claim that a surge in lottery sales early in the year managed to bring the total sales to €267.4 million so far this year. The company also claims that responsible gambling is up, and rates of gambling addiction are down.
Expenses for Veikkaus decreased by 4.2% to €52 million. Thanks to this expense drop, Veikkaus managed to increase its profit margin by 5.6% to €260.8 million.
Company officials can’t be too concerned with these figures. The revenue drop was very minimal, and overall profits increased. Veikkaus did, however, make a major announcement this week.
Veikkaus Set to Close Thousands of Slot Machines
Veikkaus controls more than the country’s online gambling market. This company also controls all of the legal land-based gambling operations that take place. As of now, it controls more than 18,000 slot machines, spread throughout the country inside kiosks, supermarkets, and service stations.
Pekka Ilmivalta, Veikkaus’ director of legal and administrative affairs, revealed to the media that nearly half of the country’s slot machines .
About 3,500 of these slot machines are set to be closed over the next 12 months. Another 4,500 will be permanently removed within five years. Officials believe this will help to reduce rates of gambling addiction.
These rules are similar to the UK’s crackdown on FOBTs. Finland’s gambling revenue benefits significantly from these slot machines, yet they’ve proven to be highly addictive.
Do you think Finland should finally open its gambling industry to foreign companies? Will this happen in the next few years? Let us know in the comments section below.
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