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Government proposal for compulsory identification of slot machine players sent out for comments

Ministry of the Interior 21.6.2018 12.32
Press release 74/2018
Government proposal for compulsory identification of slot machine players sent out for comments

It is proposed that players of slot machines located across the country, excluding those located in game arcades, be required to identify themselves from the start of 2021. Compulsory identification would make it technically possible to introduce restrictions to manage at-risk gambling on slot machines too. At the moment, players must identify themselves when they play Veikkaus online games. The proposed legislative amendments concerning identification and the licence procedures for running lotteries were sent out for comments on 21 June.

As from the start of 2021, people would have to identify themselves first using the Veikkaus Card before they could play slot machines. The aim of this reform is to reduce and prevent the negative impacts of gambling. The age limit for all gambling is 18 years. The reform would also make it possible to monitor compliance with the age limit more effectively. The requirement to identify oneself would apply to players of slot machines found in shops, petrol stations and kiosks, for example.

It would still be possible to play Veikkaus games at Veikkaus’ own game arcades without identifying oneself. The intention is to monitor and assess if the amended Lotteries Act would help to limit the negative impacts of gambling. Based on this, it would be possible to evaluate if the requirement for identification should be extended to cover machines in game arcades too.

Licence and notification procedures relating to non-money lotteries to be simplified

As part of deregulation measures, the Government aims to simplify licence and notification procedures relating to non-money lotteries, bingo games and non-money prize machines. Different kinds of lotteries are an important means to raise funds for voluntary organisations, and the current six-month licence period for running non-money lotteries, for example, can make consistent and long-term fundraising more difficult. In future, licences for non-money lotteries could be granted for a year at a time. Thus, it would no longer be necessary to apply for a new licence from the police every six months.

It is further proposed that the maximum length of the financial period for which accounts on the bingo need to be rendered be extended from six months to 12 months and that the limit for the combined sales price of the tickets in a small lottery run without a non-money lottery licence be raised from EUR 2,000 to EUR 3,000.

The deadline for comments is 10 August 2018. The government proposal is due to be submitted to Parliament during the autumn session 2018. In addition, the Ministry of the Interior will examine how to improve Veikkaus' capacity to channel the demand for gambling and to prevent the operations of gambling providers outside the exclusive rights system. This work should be complete by the end of March 2019.

Inquiries

Elina Rydman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. + 0295 488 586, elina.rydman@intermin.fi
Titta Andersson-Bohren, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 5131539 (requests for interview with Minister Mykkänen)