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Finland’s success with decreasing problem gambling

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Veikkaus paves the way toward a safer gambling industry with Compulsory Authentication and loss limits.

The online casino industry is dedicating more effort to increasing player safety and responsible gambling. Responsible gameplay initiatives are a bigger focus as gaming authorities look to decrease the effects of problems in the gambling space.

Finland's most recent safety measures have already shown great success with a significant decrease in problem gambling.

The road to responsible gambling

The gaming authority, Veikkaus, is taking a range of additional measures to promote responsible gambling on games in Finland. This includes compulsory authentication on online slots gaming.

This new measure was implemented in stores, gaming kiosks, restaurants, and service stations in January 2021. With these new regulations in Finland, players have the option to opt for self-exclusion if they choose to.

This measure has proven quite successful with over 5,600 customers setting themselves up at slot machine gaming in retail outlets. As for online gaming, a total of over 27,500 customers have taken the self-exclusion option. Several players have gone as far as to opt-out of both online casino games and in retail outlets.

Veikkaus aims to make all Finnish games subject to compulsory authentication by the end of 2023. With this authentication in place, players have the option to set a ban on their gaming and access responsible gambling tools during gameplay.

Veikkaus' Vice President, CSR Jarmo Kumpulainen, says that the idea is to build a gaming environment where they can take responsibility for those who are at risk for problem gambling. With compulsory authentication, there is more opportunity to do so. According to Kumpulainen, the objective is to be a trailblazer for responsible playing and gambling.

Opting for self-exclusion

Players are more frequently opting for self-exclusion and of the 5,600 customers choosing the option, 2,450 chose to stay inactive "until further notice". The statistics also show that 77% of the customers setting slot gaming self-exclusion have been male.

With only 10% of the machines in circulation due to the coronavirus, it is not possible to do a full report yet.

Another feature of compulsory authentication is the 'Panic Button' which enables customers to block their slot gameplay until the end of the following day. This feature has been used over 610 times since it became active in January 2021 at Finish casinos.

The compulsory authentication also incorporates age limit controls as games are strictly for adults. With compulsory authentication in place, it makes it easier to control age limits.

Loss limits contribute to responsible gambling

The compulsory authentication comes with several tools to assist in responsible gambling. This includes implementing loss limits which are compulsory on all Veikkaus' fast-paced games.

Loss limits were implemented for online gambling in December 2017 and September 2019 in retail outlets. It is an effective measure that has resulted in 100,000 customers having to stop gambling throughout September/October after hitting the loss limit.

With loss limit tools you must set a daily and monthly loss limit for gambling activities. Since the implementation of these loss limits, gambling has gone down quite a lot.

Veikkaus continues to move forward and update its strategy with new developments and plans to create a safer more responsible gambling environment.

Thanks to compulsory authentication, players have more freedom to enjoy gaming while maintaining control. The hope is to implement compulsory authentication on a larger scale as it is currently only available in fast-paced games.

The stats show great results with a significant drop in problem gambling in both land-based casinos and online casinos. This is a great victory for Veikkaus who aims to set the tone for others in the industry.

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