Survey: Finns do not trust MPs on gambling

6 September 2019

The majority of Finns do not trust MPs on gambling policy, according to a poll conducted by Bilendi Oy and commissioned by affiliate Kasino Curt.

The survey also found that more Finns oppose Veikkaus’s gambling monopoly than support it and that opinions are more negative towards Veikkaus than they were when a previous survey was conducted in March.

A sample of 1,000 participants were asked if they agree with the statement, “Finnish MPs want gambling policies that are, first and foremost, beneficial for them.” Some 32% said they fully disagreed and 26% said they partly disagreed, while only 3% said they fully disagreed and only 7% said they partially disagreed.

Mistrust of MPs was particularly strong among older citizens, with 41% of 55-to-64-year-olds fully disagreeing and 27% partly disagreeing.

When given the statement, "Veikkaus does enough work to eliminate the harmful effects of gambling," only 8% strongly agreed and 19% partially agreed, while 19% strongly disagreed and 26% partially disagreed. Opinion has become much more negative than in March, when 33% strongly agreed and 34% strongly disagreed.

The survey also found that 41% of the population want to break Veikkaus’s gambling monopoly in the country, while only 28% want to keep it together. Some 17% strongly supported ending the monopoly and 11% were strongly opposed to ending it. In March, support for breaking the monopoly was only marginal, with 31% wholly or partly agreeing to end Veikkaus’s monopoly and 27% wanting to keep it in place.

According to the survey, 45% of respondents believe that the gaming monopoly in the country will end within the next ten years, while only 22% believe it will remain, compared to 31% and 24% respectively in March.

Some 40% of Finns are opposed, including 16% who are fully opposed, to Veikkaus marketing its games, while 29% approve of the company advertising. In March, 22% said they approved of the company’s advertising while 33% disapproved. Veikkaus has cut back marketing efforts significantly since March, including slashing its marketing budget by more than 70% for Q2 of 2019 and putting an end to marketing its land-based slots.

Finns were more divided on whether Finland’s justification to the EU for its gambling monopoly ⁠— that it is necessary to reduce gambling harm ⁠— is accurate, while 33% of respondents said they agreed with the justification wholly or partly, while 33% said they did not.

Veikkaus announced its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2019 yesterday (September 5), with turnover, revenue and profit all falling as chief executive Olli Sarekoski acknowledged the future of its gambling monopoly was in question.

The company also acknowledged a series of new social responsibility controls. As well as putting an end to advertising its land-based slots, it announced the reduction in the number of slot machines it operates. The company will also introduce compulsory identity controls and Sarekoski said it may even withdraw certain games from the market in the near future.