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Veikkaus slot machines to include loss limiting feature

The move is aimed at helping to prevent problems caused by gambling.

According to Veikkaus, the loss limit will have a "significant impact on reducing problem gambling". Image: Retu Liikanen / Yle

A feature allowing gamblers to limit their losses will be installed on slot machines operated by Finland's state gambling monopoly Veikkaus from September.

Loss limits allow players to place a cap on the amount of money they could potentially lose over a given period of time.

The move is the latest measure introduced as part of the agency's corporate social responsibility programme aimed at preventing gambling-related harm.

The Ministry of the Interior has set a maximum loss limit of 500 euros per day and 2,000 euros per month, Veikkaus' Communications Manager Pipsa Öhman said.

"However, the idea is that the person themselves sets their own loss limits," Öhman added.

Since January this year, players must authenticate themselves using a Veikkaus-issued identification card before using slot machines, which are generally located in stores, restaurants, kiosks, service stations and the agency's own gambling arcades across Finland.

This means that the feature can track the gambler's losses from slot machines to online gaming.

"The devices know how to connect the player and the loss limits can be followed as players can no longer play anonymously," Öhman said, with Veikkaus estimating that the reform will have a "significant impact on reducing problem gambling".

Veikkaus' profits provoke debate

Veikkaus' profits have recently been the subject of much debate, with Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen (Cen) proposing at the beginning of this month that from 2024 revenues earned by the gambling monopoly should be transferred to the state budget.

The minister said that the betting agency's incomes are declining, and without a change so will the income of charities and other groups that benefit from its profits. Veikkaus revenues are distributed to organisations in the fields of culture, sports, science, and youth work as well as social welfare and health.

The government has agreed to set up a parliamentary working group to consider how Veikkaus' income could be distributed in the future.

Kai Mykkänen, chair of the National Coalition Party's parliamentary group, said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat in July that he would immediately cut the link between Veikkaus' gambling revenues and the grants received by organisations.

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