Veikkaus to reopen slots and gaming hall in Southern Savonia

Finnish monopoly operator Veikkaus has announced it will open slot machines in kiosks, shops and traffic stations in the region of Southern Savonia, and the Mikkeli Pelaamo gaming hall, from tomorrow (21 January)

The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the region has returned from the acceleration phase to the basic level, the operator said, allowing for the reopening of land-based gaming.

Meanwhile, gaming machines and venues in all the regions which are considered to be in the acceleration or spreading phase, which currently make up the majority of the country, will remain closed.

Veikkaus’ machines across most of Finland were closed in November amid rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.

The reopening of gaming machines at third party locations in Southern Savonia will see the region begin to use Veikkaus’ mandatory identity verification controls brought in on 12 January.

Players will now need to log in to gamble on slots, and will have greater control to self-exclude from the terminals. The operator said it expected the new system to cut player losses by around €300m.

In December, the operator began consultations over temporary layoffs with up to 800 employees in response to the enforced closure of its retail locations. It said the layoffs may be full- or part-time staff, but that they would last for a maximum of 90 days.

Veikkaus took the decision to restrict monthly and weekly loss limits in April last year, with the monthly loss limit for “fast-paced online games” reduced from €2,000 to €500.

The €2,000 monthly limit was restored in January, but a daily loss limit of €500 will now remain in place until the end of March.

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