State gambling firm Veikkaus cutting up to 190 jobs

The company says it needs to save 15 million euros annually by 2024.

Veikkaus is a significant source of funds for cultural, veterans’, youth, sporting and social and health care organisations. Image: Mikko Koski / Yle

Finland's state-owned gambling monopoly Veikkaus announced on Friday that co-determination restructuring talks with worker representatives had been finalised and that between 125-190 jobs at the company would be cut.

The company said that the downsizing was due to a roughly 40 percent decrease in gaming volumes at its physical sales channels, and that it needs to save about 15 million euros per year by 2024.

In November 2020, the company shut down thousands of slot machines across the country for an extended period due to the coronavirus crisis, following guidelines from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Veikkaus initiated the lay-off talks in August of this year, negotiations that potentially affected around 830 employees.

On Friday the company said that the exact number of terminations was not final, as talks with individual employees about job transfers within the company were still ongoing.

The company noted that the employment terms of about 50 of its white-collar workers and 60-110 other employees will change significantly.

Some arcades shutting down

The firm said that a significant share of the 15 million euros it needs to save will be based on the closure of 15 of its gaming arcades, due to a decrease in profitability.

Jari Heino, Veikkaus' SVP of channels and sales, said the company aimed to build "a sustainable, modern, and efficient company that enjoys the support of the Finnish people."

Veikkaus is a significant source of funds for cultural, veterans’, youth, sporting and social and health care organisations.

Earlier this week the Ministry of Education and Culture announced there would be funding cuts for the arts, culture, science and sport sectors in its 2022 budget, due to declining revenue from the state gambling monopoly.

The specific cuts were announced by education and culture minister Antti Kurvinen on Tuesday, but by Thursday leaders of three of the five parties in government had said they want a re-think.