Veikkaus, the state-owned gambling operator in Finland, is making sweeping changes in preparation for the end of its gambling monopoly. The company has announced a significant restructuring plan that includes job cuts and operational changes.
Approximately 25% of Veikkaus’ workforce, totaling 825 employees, will be affected by the restructuring. Heli Lallukka, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, stated that after staff consultations, about 185-215 employees will lose their jobs, and about 110-150 workers will experience material changes in employment terms.
In addition to job cuts, Veikkaus revealed the closure of Casino Tampere on December 9, just shy of two years since its opening. Nineteen other gaming arcades under Veikkaus are also set to shut down on December 22.
As part of the restructuring, Veikkaus will divide its operations into three units, each led by a senior vice president. Nora Vähävirta will oversee domestic games of chance, slot machines, and arcades, Jarkko Nordlund will head domestic online casino and betting operations, and Jonas Reuter will lead Veikkaus’ international business.
The scale of the layoffs is less severe than initially anticipated, with the final figures revised downward after discussions with personnel representatives.
These changes align with the Finnish government’s goal to reduce the financial and social harms associated with gambling. The proposed new system will allow private companies to apply for licenses to operate sports betting and online casinos, while Veikkaus retains its monopoly for lotteries and retail slot machines.
These changes come after a Finnish government study recommended reforming the country’s gambling monopoly system, citing concerns about the significant loss of revenue due to unlicensed gaming.
Veikkaus is committed to making significant investments to enhance competitiveness in the face of upcoming changes to the gambling landscape in Finland.