Veikkaus, Finland’s gambling monopoly, has made the temporary online gambling loss limits introduced during the pandemic a permanent feature of the country’s gaming regulation.
As a result of the now permanently-entrenched measures, Finnish online bettors will only be able to lose a maximum of €500 (£429/$596) per day – half the original daily limit of €1,000 – whilst playing online casino games with Veikkaus.
In addition, the decree from Maria Ohisalo, Finland’s Minister of the Interior – issued on 18 June – has also seen the monthly loss limit of €2,000 will become a permanent measure.
The new regulations will also require all online casino and slot players to set their own daily and monthly loss limits, which must be below the daily €500 and monthly €2,000 threshold.
In addition to the maximum loss limit, all players are still required by regulation to always set their own daily and monthly loss limits. Self-imposed limits cannot be higher than the maximum loss limits.
“The reduced maximum loss limit has been in use for a year,” Ohisalo remarked. “Loss limits are a good way to prevent gambling harm.
“In addition to gambling problems, lowering the loss limit will combat over-indebtedness and livelihood problems, and I am pleased that the daily loss limit will be permanently reduced from €1,000 to €500.”
Limits were first introduced in May 2020, initially intended to be on a temporary basis, during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to concerns online gambling would increase during government-mandated national lockdowns.
However, Finnish authorities have extended the measures multiple times, with the most recent decision in late March pushing the final date for the temporary measures back until 30 June.
An enhancement of responsible gambling initiatives had already been identified as a key objective in Veikkaus’ 2020 strategy, although prior to the pandemic the plans primarily focused on reducing the number of slot machines in operation across Finland, as well as introducing compulsory identification in order to play slots and other games.
In August 2020, the betting and gaming monopoly called on the Finnish government to bring the implementation date for new measures on compulsory authentication forward from 2023 to the end of June 2021, requiring an amendment to the country’s Lottery Act.