Veikkaus prepares for new era in Finland

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Finnish government-owned betting agency Veikkaus, which holds a monopoly in the country, is preparing for a new era.

A change in the gambling system is being prepared and part of the market will be opened to competition at the beginning of 2026, according to the government.

Part of Veikkaus’ digital gambling business is to be transferred to the international licensed gaming market. Based on the plans, however, the lottery and physical slot machines will still remain within Veikkaus’ monopoly.

Preparing for changes in the gaming industry and internationalisation are a really important part of Veikkaus’ growth strategy, stresses CEO Olli Sarekoski. According to Sarekoski, Veikkaus plans to invest heavily in the new business.

“We are building a future where Veikkaus is Finland’s most successful gambling company and a major player in the international market,” Sarekoski states.

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The company’s goal is a sustainable and profitable business model that guarantees competitiveness in the future as well. Therefore, changes to the organisational structure are planned, which will be discussed in negotiations starting in September.

The scope of the negotiations includes almost the entire organisation and a total of 825 betting laws. The negotiations may lead to the termination of the employment of approximately 240 people, as well as significant changes in the terms of employment for a maximum of 195 people.

“We are planning to reduce the number of gaming places from 65 arcades to around 40 to 50. The change negotiations also discuss the possible closure of the Tampere casino.”

Veikkaus aims for an operating model that enables it to focus on its core business. With that, the company aims for the ability to respond to changes in Veikkaus’ mission and operating environment as well as the gaming industry.

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“We want to be competitive in the future licence market and vital in the monopoly market. That’s why we need changes in our operations that affect the entire company,” added Sarekoski.

“It means many parallel changes. We go through the entire organisation from the point of view of profitability and growth. We also have to make difficult decisions. For some, these changes may mean the end of the employment relationship.” 

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