Veikkaus to Cut Quarter of Workforce, Split Operations Ahead of Gambling Monopoly End in Finland
Veikkaus, the gambling monopoly in Finland, has announced plans to reduce its workforce by about a quarter and restructure its operations. The company confirmed that approximately 185-215 employees out of 825 will lose their jobs, and around 110-150 others will see changes in their employment terms.
In addition to the job cuts, Veikkaus will close Casino Tampere on December 9, less than two years after its opening. The operator will also shut down 19 gaming arcades on December 22.
As part of the restructuring, Veikkaus will split its operations into three units, each led by senior vice-presidents. Nora Vähävirta will oversee domestic games of chance, slot machines, and arcades, while Jarkko Nordlund will lead domestic online casino and betting operations. Jonas Reuter, a former IGT and Scientific Games executive, will lead the operator’s international business.
While the job cuts are significant, they are not as severe as initially anticipated. Veikkaus had initially warned that up to 240 jobs could be cut, along with employment changes for an additional 195 employees. This change in numbers came after constructive dialogue with personnel representatives.
The closure of gaming arcades will affect several Playhouse-branded venues in various locations. The arcade closures are a part of the wider plans to end Veikkaus’ gambling monopoly by 2026 to reduce financial and social harms of gambling. The government aims to channel more consumers to licensed operators, as unlicensed platforms currently account for about 50% of gaming activity in the country.
Under the proposed new system, private companies will be able to apply for licenses to run sports betting and online casinos. Veikkaus will retain its monopoly status for lottery and retail slot machines. The company is set to be carved up into separate companies within the same group, reversing a 2017 merger between betting brand Veikkaus, slot business Raha-automaattiyhdistys, and horse race betting operator Fintoto.