Digital challenge sees Veikkaus complete stage-1 of corporate transformation

Veikkaus, Finland’s state-owned gambling operator has detailed the successful completion of the initial phase of its ongoing ‘transformation programme’.

At the start of 2019, Veikkaus governance announced that it would undertake ‘significant operational restructure’ of its ‘restaurant gambling division’, having identified a number of ‘cost reduction areas’.

Competing against a ‘trend of fierce online gambling competition’, Olli Saarikoski, President and CEO of Veikkaus confirmed that corporate governance had reduced operational headcount by 300-360 staff, terminating ‘part-time contracts’.

Fulfilling a key mandate, Saarikoski details that the legacy operator has undertaken strong progress on its digitisation strategy, as Veikkaus counters a ‘demographic shift’ which sees Finnish consumers’ turning towards online gambling.

“Our objective is to ensure Veikkaus’ future in the tightening digital competition, where gaming is shifting strongly towards the digital channel. As a result of the structural changes in retail trade, our point-of-sale network has also been reduced considerably in the past few years.”Saarikoski details in Veikkaus update.

Despite its corporate adjustments, Veikkaus was criticised last April by Finland’s Health & Welfare Department, for failing on ‘its responsibility mandate’ by failing to convey responsible gambling messages across its advertising.

Further political pressure, saw Veikkaus position as state-owned gambling operator come under scrutiny of Finland’s Social Affairs Ministry, which stated that the gambling operator had failed to curb problem gambling rates, a key mandate in Veikkaus absorbing RAY and Fintoto enterprises back in 2017.

Olli Saarikoski would comment on responsible gambling initiatives –  “There has been a lot of public debate over gambling problems. It is good that the responsibility of our operations and the reliability of our games are still seen as significant values. Veikkaus keeps monitoring the development of gambling-related problems regularly and developing measures to control problem gambling. At present, Veikkaus is preparing for comprehensive identification on decentralised slot machines, which will be introduced in 2022, enabling the players, for example, to set limits on their own gaming.”

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