Veikkaus plans for 400 redundancies as restaurant gambling division suffers

Finland’s Veikkaus gambling monopoly is set to undertake a significant operational restructure cutting approximately 400 staff positions, amid the downfall of its restaurant gambling division.

Veikkaus’ executive team has commenced discussions with around 1,300 of its 2,000 staff identifying areas which will be at the forefront of restructuring. The majority of the staff members that are said to be affected are located within the Helsinki area.

Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski said the country had undergone significant ‘structural changes’ as a result of the demographic shift towards online gambling.

Approximately 45 per cent of Veikkaus’ sales now stem from its digital channels.

As a result of this shift, Sarekoski said Veikkaus was “planning significant overhauls of our gaming locations and an end to the restaurant gaming table business.”

Finland has long objected to the presence of internationally licensed online gambling operators that offers services to local gamblers.

Sweden’s market liberalisation has clouded the situation, however, Finnish media has previously reported that a number of Swedish-licensed operators have targeted Finnish gamblers from their Swedish sites.

Veikkaus VP Velipekka Nummikoski has previously addressed whether Finland will adopt a similar policy of regulating its betting market in a similar fashion to that of Sweden.

However, Nummikoski believed that this would be unlikely given Veikkaus possessing close to 90 per cent share of the Finnish domestic online market, a significantly higher share than Sweden’s Svenska Spel monopoly claimed pre-liberalization.

Veikkaus operations were assessed last year as part of a Finland’s Competition and Consumer Authority evaluation. The regulatory body wished to determine the operator’s effects upon its customers and competition within the industry.

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