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State-owned gambling monopoly Veikkaus sheds 129 jobs

Some 129 workers at Finland's national gambling monopoly Veikkaus will lose their jobs, following co-determination talks which came to a close on Monday, the company has announced.

Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

A total of 129 jobs will be cut at gambling monopoly Veikkaus, according to the company.  The cuts affect some 65 to 70 contracted employees, about 20 temporary workers and some 25 employees due to retire from the company.

Company management and representatives of some 960 employees began co-determination talks in early April and concluded on Monday. When discussions began, the company said that up to 140 employees were at risk of losing their jobs.

A statement from Veikkaus management said the cuts would help the company become more cost effective and competitive and that the company plans to invest heavily in online services.

"These changes will improve our cost-effectiveness compared to the earlier model with three [separate] firms," Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski said in a press release.

Sarekoski vowed that the company would give its support and help to those who have lost their jobs.

Technology overhaul

At the beginning this year the state gambling system was overhauled, a move which merged the trotting betting agency Fintoto, casino and fruit machine company RAY and Veikkaus, which previously only oversaw the national lottery under one roof - becoming Veikkaus Oy.

Veikkaus has the exclusive right to operate gambling games in Finland. According to its website one third of the company's business is conducted online.

Profits from Finland's state-run gambling monopoly are funnelled to charities, to which the company says it donates more than one billion euros per year.

The company says Veikkaus' online site attracts some 400,000 players each week and has nearly two million regular customers.