In a statement on the firm’s website, Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski called for reforms to Finland’s licensing framework to begin as soon as possible, as a means to solve problems with overseas channelisation rates.
Veikkaus has been losing market share rapidly to overseas firms in recent years, with consequences for its own revenues, state taxation and Finland’s player protection and responsible gambling system.
Sarekoski remarked: “If the system change is headed towards a licence system, from Veikkaus’ point of view, it is desirable that this change happens faster rather than slowly.”
In the report, policymakers estimated that around €500m to €550m in Finnish gambling revenue goes towards unlicenced overseas firms, amounting to around half of total betting and gaming volume.
The main conclusion of the Ministry of the Interior’s study – received this week by State Secretary Akseli Koskela – was that a partial licence system should be adopted, whereby licences are issued to private firms for online betting and casino.
This would see Veikkaus retain exclusive rights to land-based and online lotteries, as well as bricks-and-mortar betting and gaming, including slots.
However, the study did also feature a comparison of five other national igaming regulatory and licensing frameworks across Europe – the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Of these, the authors and signatures of the report – Harri Sailas (Chairman), Tuija Brax, Riitta Matilainen and Mikko Alkio – highlighted Norway as the ideal licensing model for Finland to follow.
Alongside Finland, Norway is one of the last European countries to use a monopoly model for its gambling market, although with some partial licences for online operators.
“The report is good and balanced,” the Veikkaus CEO said. “It is important that the amount of gaming margin outside the exclusive rights system is confirmed to be in the range of €500m to €550m, and thus also in the category we presented based on H2 Gambling Capital’s information.”