Finland cuts gambling loss limits to €500
The Finnish Ministry of the Interior has issued a decree significantly reducing monthly and weekly loss limits for online casino offered by Veikkaus, while the monopoly operator has also announced that lottery draws will be suspended until further notice.
The decree states that the monthly loss limit for “fast-paced online games” will be reduced from €2,000 to €500 (£435.9/$541.8) as a result of the “exceptional circumstances” of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The maximum daily loss per player has been halved from €1,000 to €500, meaning that an individual would be unable to gamble for the rest of the month should they lose the maximum in a day.
This will apply to online slots, online bingo, instant win games and table games, excluding poker, coming into force from 1 May and in place until 30 September.
Veikkaus director of legal and social responsibility Pekka Ilmivalta said the company had made the necessary technical changes and would be able to enforce the limits from the dates set out by the Ministry.
In related news, Veikkaus’ raffle draws will be suspended from 4 May until further notice, with the operator looking to concentrate on continuing to offer its core lottery products during the period.
Raffle tickets, which can also be awarded as a prize in instant win games, will continue to be sold, with the draws to be held once the suspension is lifted.
The temporary loss limits and suspension of raffle draws are the latest examples of Covid-19 impacting the Finnish monopoly’s revenue. Last week it revealed that revenue had declined by around 40.6% since the pandemic hit Finland, with all land-based casinos and gaming halls shut, and slot machines taken offline, from 13 March.
Over the five weeks since the land-based shut-down, the operator estimated that it had lost out on around €60m in revenue.
However, it added, there had been little evidence of its customer base migrating online, with online casino revenue only up by around €1.5m since social distancing measures were brought into force.
The operator is preparing to furlough the majority of its retail staff, with up to 675 employees to be laid off temporarily.