Finns divided on Veikkaus future, survey claims

12 April 2019

A new survey claims that a majority of Finnish citizens are in favour of abolishing the country’s current regulatory framework for gambling, which gives Veikkaus a monopoly over the market.

The survey, conducted by by Finnish polling specialist Bilendi on behalf of igaming affiliate Kasino Curt, says that Finns would instead prefer a licensing regime that would open up the market to private operators.

A total of 1,000 Finnish adults took part in the survey, with 31% saying they were in favour of abolishing Veikkaus’ monopoly. However, 27% said they would be against the move, with the rest either unsure or having no opinion on the issue.

There was a majority that believed Veikkaus would lose its monopoly status within 10 years, with 31% saying this would happen, and 24% believing it would not. The 35 and 44 age bracket was the only one that believed its monopoly status would endure.

Despite this, desire for regulatory change was greatest among those aged between 35 and 44 years old, with 37% agreeing that Veikkaus’ monopoly should be abolished. Of this number, 13% strongly agreed, with 24% partially in favour. Opposition was greatest amongst those aged 65 and above, with 36% either completely or partially against the move.

Bilendi also noted that there was a gender gap, with 38% of male respondents against Veikkaus’ monopoly, compared to 31% that were in favour of it. For women, however, 23% wanted to abolish the monopoly, with 22% against. The percentage of women that either did not have an opinion on the matter, or took a neutral stance, was higher than that of men in every age category.

“Based on the survey, Finns seem to be divided between those who are in favour of the monopoly position of Veikkaus and those who are against it,” Bilendi senior client service manager Janne Juntunen said. “17% of the respondents had not gambled during the past 12 months, which may at least partially explain why their opinions do not fall at either end of the scale.”

Despite the slight majority in favour of abolishing the current monopoly framework, the survey also found that players were generally distrustful of sites licensed in jurisdictions such as Estonia, Gibraltar and Malta. Just 16% of those polled considered it safe to gamble via such sites, with 32% considering them risky.

Finns were also divided on the effectiveness of Veikkaus’ consumer protection controls, which the monopoly claims have impacted revenue in recent years. Of those polled, 33% believe these controls are effective, though 34% disagree.

There was, however, strong support for automatic ID verification controls on land-based slot machines, which are due to be introduced from 2022, with 40% of those surveyed in favour of the move, compared to 21% against.