Veikkaus will also restrict the visibility of the game menu on all decentralized slot machines as of 1 September. These include the slot machines placed in stores, service stations, kiosks, and restaurants. Customers cannot see the game menu on the screen and play the games before they have authenticated themselves.

Over the past years, Veikkaus has carried out major measures to promote responsible gambling. The restrictions to the opening hours of the slot machines and the prominence of the games are some of the most recent of them.

To play any of Veikkaus’ slot machine games, players have been required to authenticate themselves ever since July 2021. To play slots, customers must authenticate themselves by using their Veikkaus Card, their phone, or a payment card linked to their loyal customer account.

“Veikkaus wants to offer people the option of shopping without the slot machines being open for playing. Veikkaus also wants to offer its customers the option of imposing a total self-ban on their playing of slot machines. Self-bans can be activated, for example, in Veikkaus’ online service or by contacting our customer service,” says Ms Susanna Saikkonen, VP, Sustainability.

There will be no restrictions on the opening hours of other slot machines than those placed in grocery stores.

Problems induced by slot machines on the decrease

According to a survey on gambling, carried out by research company Taloustutkimus in spring 2022, 2.5 percent of the Finnish population suffer from problem gambling.

The survey, commissioned by Veikkaus from Taloustutkimus, indicated that 21% of those having a gambling problem felt physical slot machines caused them difficulties to control their gambling.

Reducing the number of slot machines, as well as the requirement to authenticate oneself on slot machines, have lessened the prevalence of problems caused by physical slot machines.

“According to the survey, slot machines are no longer the biggest cause for gambling problems, but the games to cause the most problems are domestic and offshore casino games, available online. However, it is still important that we continue to take measures to promote responsible gambling,” says Ms Saikkonen.

“Authenticated gambling is the key to the self-control of gambling. It has been applied to slot machines, and it enables our customers to set, for example, limits and bans on their gambling. If they wish, our customers can block their gambling totally. Veikkaus is on its way to becoming a gambling company where all gambling takes place authenticated, both in the digital and the physical channel.”