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Finnish slot machines now require player ID

The new practice has been introduced to help prevent problem gambling and gambling by minors.

Suljetut peliautomaatit Espoon Isossa Omenassa markettikerroksessa.
Currently, almost all slot machines and gaming venues on Finland are closed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

As of Tuesday, 12 January, the use of slot machines owned and operated by the state gambling agency Veikkaus is subject to compulsory authentication. Located in stores, restaurants, kiosks, service stations and the agency's own gambling arcades, play on these machines can only be accessed after an ID check.

The new policy is part of the agency's corporate social responsibility programme aimed at preventing gambling-related harm.

Players now will have to authenticate themselves on slot machines by using a Veikkaus-issued card, by mobile phone, or by using a payment card linked to a customer account.

At present, Veikkaus has approximately 10,000 slot machines in its retail partner network around the country. Their number has been reduced by more than 40 percent within the past year.

Easier age control

The new policy is also targeted at facilitating age limit controls.

Gaming on slot machines is now only possible through a personal account, and 18 years of age is the minimum requirement for opening such an account.

Veikkaus says compulsory identification will also have financial implications. Along with other gaming management tools, it is expected to cut player losses by about 300 million euros annually.

At the moment, all the slot machines and arcades are closed in regions of Finland where the coronavirus epidemic is in the acceleration or spreading stage.

Starting from July 2021, authentication will also be required at Veikkaus’ gambling venues – the Feel Vegas and Pelaamo arcades. Veikkaus’ aim is to make all gambling subject to personal ID authentication by the year 2023.

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