Finnish betting agency Veikkaus is to limit the hours of play on its grocery store slot machines in a watershed-style move.
The state-owned gambling monopoly has announced it will limit access to between the hours of 9am and 9pm, starting from September.
Additionally, Veikkaus is to restrict the access that the public has to games machines without authorisation.
Game menus which were previously displayed before authentication will now be hidden to the public, until a user has been authorised for play..
This preemptive measure is also set to begin in September, and will include game machines in all stores as well as service stations, kiosks and restaurants.
“Veikkaus wants to offer people the option of shopping without the slot machines being open for playing,” stated Susanna Saikkonon, VP of Sustainability at Veikkaus.
“Veikkaus also wants to offer its customers the option of imposing a total self-ban on their playing of slot machines. Self-bans can be activated, for example, in Veikkaus’ online service or by contacting our customer service.”
Finnish players have been required to authenticate themselves since July 2021, using Veikkaus cards, phones and payment cards linked to customer accounts to prove their authenticity.
Earlier this year, a survey from research company Taloustutkimus showed that 2.5 per cent of the Finnish population suffered from problem gambling. Veikkaus is introducing these measures to combat this statistic.
Saikkonon added: “Authenticated gambling is the key to self-control when gambling. It has been applied to slot machines, and it enables our customers to set limits and bans on their gambling.
“If they wish, our customers can block their gambling completely. Veikkaus is on its way to becoming a gambling company where all gambling is authenticated, both in digital and physical channels.”