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Finnish gambling operator introduces mandatory authentication for slot machines

15 December 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Slots can be played, and arcades are still open in three health care districts: Lapland, Eastern Savo, and North Savo.

The previous recommendation by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will be effective until 15 December 2020. The situation has not changed, so Veikkaus continues the closure in the areas currently in the acceleration and spreading stages. There are a total of 16 health care districts in the acceleration and spreading stages that are relevant to Veikkaus’ operations. Veikkaus does not operate in Åland.

"We keep following the instructions and act accordingly. The authorities have access to the best expertise available as regards the coronavirus pandemic, and we will naturally act in compliance with their instructions, says Jari Heino, SVP, Channels and Sales."

If a health care district returns to the basic stage after 16 December, the slot machines and Veikkaus arcades – Casino Helsinki, the Feel Vegas and Pelaamo arcades – located in the district can be opened.

"We want to act in a responsible and equal manner towards both our employees and partners. If it is estimated in a health care district that the situation has improved and that they have returned from the acceleration or spreading stage to the basic stage, we will launch the process of reopening there, Mr Heino explains."

Compulsory authentication starts in a month

Slots gaming at kiosks, stores, restaurants, and service stations will change significantly in January, as it will be made subject to compulsory authentication. The exact date has now been set; it is 12 January 2021. After that, you cannot play slots on decentralized slot machines without authenticating yourself. The restrictions on the opening hours will end at the same date.

"Of course, our first priority is to take care of safety during the epidemic, so the slot machines will only be open in districts where the coronavirus situation allows it."

"Compulsory authentication is a very efficient way of preventing problem gambling and facilitating age limit controls. The players can also choose to ban their slots gaming completely as of 12 January 2021, if they wish. Later, we will also be making available other responsibility" tools for players. Compulsory authentication will be adopted at Veikkaus arcades in summer 2021.

Veikkaus is actively following the development of the epidemic and makes decisions on the business operations in compliance with the guidelines issued by the authorities.

"It is our common interest in society to take every possible action to get over the pandemic. We are facing lots of insecurities and challenging decisions, but we can win this battle together."

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