Veikkaus to Close 20 Gaming Venues and Lay off 200 Employees Before Christmas


Posted on: November 14, 2023, 10:25h.

Last updated on: November 14, 2023, 10:25h.

Finland is moving forward with its plans to eliminate the monopoly status Veikkaus currently enjoys, but it will come at the cost of jobs. As the state-led gaming operator continues to restructure itself ahead of the upcoming shift, 200 people could be without work just weeks before Christmas.

The Veikkaus headquarters on a snowy day
The Veikkaus headquarters on a snowy day. Finland’s gaming monopoly will close properties this year ahead of changes to the country’s gaming market. (Image: Wikipedia)

Veikkaus, which turned six at the beginning of the year, is undergoing substantial changes in preparation for the end of its monopoly in the country. One notable development is the closure of Casino Tampere, a facility that began operations less than two years ago. Set to shut its doors on December 9, this decision will impact the livelihoods of 80 employees associated with the casino.

In addition to the Casino Tampere closure, Veikkaus has outlined plans to cease operations at 19 out of its 65 gaming venues across Finland on December 22. This includes properties operating under the Playhouse and Turku brands.

Poorly Timed Vacations

The decision to close these venues is part of a broader restructuring initiative that Veikkaus initiated months ago. In September, the gaming operator publicly announced its intent to finalize these plans.

As a consequence of these strategic changes, up to 215 individuals are expected to find themselves without employment just before the holiday season. Further, an additional 110-150 out of the 825 total employees at Veikkaus may experience unspecified alterations in their employment status.

This is a better projection than Veikkaus’ earlier statement. It had indicated an anticipated release of up to 240 jobs, with another 195 employees facing changes in their work structures.

Veikkaus hasn’t explained how it will handle the transition for the employees it lets go. While there will be new opportunities coming with the change in the country’s gaming regime, these will not be immediately available.

Veikkaus’ proactive approach to these adjustments reflects its acknowledgment of the evolving gaming landscape in Finland, as the end of its monopoly approaches. The operator is taking necessary steps to adapt and navigate the changing dynamics within the gaming industry, ensuring its continued relevance in the face of emerging market shifts.

The End of an Era

Veikkaus is set to lose its long-held monopoly in the country’s gambling industry by 2026. The shift is a result of legislative changes aimed at modernizing and opening up the Finnish gambling market. It’s also the result of the realization that the monopoly is a failed system that leads to significant financial losses and lower consumer protections.

The government plans to introduce a new licensing system, allowing other operators to enter the market alongside Veikkaus. The changes aim to enhance consumer protection, foster responsible gambling practices and address concerns related to gambling addiction.

By introducing a more competitive landscape, the government hopes to provide Finnish consumers with a better gaming experience. It expects to offer a broader range of gambling options while maintaining regulatory oversight to ensure a fair and secure environment.

The legislative amendments indicate a significant departure from the previous monopoly model, allowing private operators to participate in the Finnish gambling market. These changes also align with broader trends in Europe. Several countries have been adjusting their regulatory frameworks to adapt to evolving industry dynamics and embrace a more diverse and competitive gambling landscape.

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