Gaming control measures hit Veikkaus sales

30 August 2018

Finnish National Lottery operator Veikkaus has highlighted heightened competition in digital channels and improved gaming restriction controls after posting a slight fall in revenue for the second quarter of 2018.

Turnover fell by 0.3% to €1.5872bn (£1.424bn/$1.853bn), although profit did increase by 2.5% to €505.5m.

Veikkaus said that 42.9% of its sales was generated by digital channels. This percentage is relatively flat in comparison with the 42% reported for 2017 – the first full year after Veikkaus completed a three-way merger with Fintoto and Finland’s Slot Machine Association.

President and CEO Olli Sarekoski acknowledged that Veikkaus is in the midst of a major transitional phase and added that a new gaming restriction concept had reduced the growth of Veikkaus’ digital GGR by between €10m and €15m in the first six months of the year.

“At the end of last year, we launched a gaming restriction concept covering online gaming, which is unique even in the international setting,” Sarekoski said.

“The transition period of adopting the concept ended at the end of March. According to our preliminary estimates, the gaming and money transfer limits have helped us prevent problem gambling and protect high-risk gamblers.”

Veikkaus enhanced its digital business in August of last year by rolling out a new online store, where all games across the three businesses were united under one account.

The operator remains the overwhelmingly dominant force in terms of Finnish GGR, with 89% of the market. However, further changes are on the horizon.

“Veikkaus is preparing for large-scale changes in the coming years,” Sarekoski said.

“The drastic changes in the operating environment, the ever-accelerating international competition, and our planned shift towards comprehensive identification on decentralised slot machines require us to carry out special measures and development work.

“In 2018, we are revising our strategy to secure our competitiveness in the upcoming future changes in the operating environment and the rapidly accelerating competition.

“The competition over customers is toughest in the digital channels. Therefore, success in digital business will be one of the cornerstones of the revised strategy.”