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Betting agency Veikkaus to cut 400 jobs, may halt restaurant gambling

Finland's national gaming firm may fold its hand in the gaming table business, citing more digital competition.

All best off? Blackjack tables like this at Helsinki Casino may be on the way out. Image: Veikkaus

State-owned betting monopoly Veikkaus is considering a phase-out of all its table gaming operations in restaurants. The company now runs 187 gaming tables in 162 restaurants, bars, casinos and other night spots.

On Monday the firm said it is launching redundancy talks involving 1,300 employees out of its total workforce of some 2,000. It aims to reduce its payroll by around 400.

About half of those facing lay-off negotiations are in the Helsinki region, with the rest scattered around the country.

Digital reshuffle

Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski says the cuts are necessary because of intensifying digital competition and business shifting onto digital channels.

"Due to structural changes, our network of sales locations has shrunk considerably in recent years. Therefore we are planning significant overhauls of our gaming locations and an end to the restaurant gaming table business," Sarekoski said in a statement.

At the beginning of 2017, Veikkaus merged with the Finnish Slot Machine Association (RAY) and the parimutuel betting group Fintoto, which was owned by the Finnish horse trotting and breeding association.