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The reform of the Lotteries Act aims to further prevent and reduce the negative impacts of gambling

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 31.1.2020 13.49 | Published in English on 31.1.2020 at 15.02
Press release 8/2020

The Ministry of the Interior has launched a project focused on a reform to the Lotteries Act. In line with the Government Programme, the goal is to determine any needs to reform the Lotteries Act, especially with an eye on further enhancing the prevention and reduction of the harmful effects of gambling. Moreover, legislative means to support the operating conditions of Veikkaus Oy and strengthen the exclusive right system will also be examined

“Reducing the harmful effects of gambling is a key element in the efforts to remedy social inequalities. The harmful effects of gambling and over-indebtedness, for example, often go hand in hand. By reforming the Lotteries Act, the Government aims to both curb the negative impacts of gambling and ensure that gambling is guided towards a range of games that are responsible and supervised,” says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

The project has been assigned the task of preparing a report on the development of the Lotteries Act and any other relevant legislation regarding the following topics:
• The expansion of the compulsory identification of players from individual slot machines to other forms of gambling, enabling, for example, the use of players’ self-imposed bans
• Regulations on the location of individual slot machines and the location of sales points
• Regulation on the marketing of gambling games and marketing in violation of the Lotteries Act
• The collection and use of game and player data to monitor, prevent and study the negative impacts of gambling as well as to enable Veikkaus Oy’s model of responsible customer relations
• The expansion of a fixed-term casino ban to an indefinite ban
• The possible adoption of blocks on payments to restrict gambling outside the exclusive right system
• The potential development of Veikkaus Oy’s operations to include business between companies
• Questions related to the location of game servers
• The amendments to horse race betting required by international betting pools and amendments related to the reform of betting games

If required, other topics related to the project’s goals can also be discussed during the project. The project’s premise is that the Finnish gambling system will continue to be based on a system of exclusive rights, as expressed in the Government Programme. When assessing the need for regulatory amendments, special attention must be focused on the conditions for the maintenance of exclusive rights systems laid out in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Steering gambling towards a legal and responsible provision of gaming

As stated in Prime Minister Marin’s Government Programme, in order to curb the harmful effects of gambling, gambling policy will help secure the fund-channelling monopoly of Veikkaus Oy and ensure its operating conditions in a rapidly changing environment. Moreover, according to the Government Programme, harmful effects of gambling will be effectively combatted and gambling will be guided towards a range of games that are legal, responsible and supervised. The programme further states that the Government will implement the second phase of the reform of the Lotteries Act at the beginning of its term of office to ensure that gambling policy objectives are met.

A steering group and working group will be appointed for the project. The steering group will be chaired by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of the Interior. The Advisory Board on Gaming, set up within the Ministry of the Interior, will monitor the project’s progress.

A diverse group of authorities, experts and organisational representatives will be heard during the project. Discussions and consultations will be organised in connection with the project.
The project will run from 31 January 2020 to 30 November 2020.

Further information:
Elina Rydman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 586, [email protected]
Jukka Tukia, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 573, [email protected]
Olli-Poika Parviainen, State Secretary, tel. +358 50 477 85 20, [email protected]