“Finland needs to start thinking about bringing all gambling under the same regulation,” suggested Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus, after witnessing a decline in its online market share.
As gambling “strongly” moves to the digital channel, Veikkaus recorded a five per cent drop in its slice of the country’s entire digital market during January to June. This, said Sarekoski, sees the company heading towards a “critical 50 per cent limit”.
According to H2 Gambling Capital, and quoted by the group in its H1 review, the market stood at approximately €520m during the period, with online gambling of services other than Veikkaus’ reported as growing by 14 per cent.
The Finnish monopoly, which noted that it “operates in the current competitive digital market under different conditions than its competitors,” said that the above means approximately €260m “was transferred to places other than Veikkaus’ service”.
Furthermore, the firm, which saw lottery (55 per cent) as its most dominant H1 game group ahead of casino (33 per cent) and betting (12 per cent), added that its entire digital gambling market was approximately 51 per cent during the period.
Gross gaming revenue during the first half of the year dropped 2.1 per cent to €515.9m, which is aligned to the uncertainty of consumers as a result of the geopolitical situation and the changed business behaviour as a result of the pandemic. Profit increased 2.3 per cent to €337.7m.
“Veikkaus operates in the current competitive digital market under different conditions than its competitors, and this increasingly transfers gaming to other gaming companies,” said Sarekoski.
“This seems to lead to the fact that the market share of the exclusive system, or Veikkaus, in the digital market has decreased by five percentage points from the corresponding reference time last year and is approaching the critical 50 percent limit.
“If that strongly downward trend cannot be stopped, Finland needs to start thinking about bringing all gambling under the same regulation.
“It could better serve the prevention of gaming disadvantages as a whole, the company’s future and thereby the interests of Finland and Finns.
These comments came after the Finnish government amended the Lotteries Act from January 1, 2022, to place a focus on preventing harm caused by gambling, combating marketing that violates the legislation and directing the demand towards legalised activities.