Starting from January 1, 2024, Finland’s state-controlled gambling company, Veikkaus, will implement mandatory identification checks for scratchcard games. Players will be required to show identification when purchasing scratchcards and claiming winnings. This rule will apply to popular games such as the Ässä and Casino lottery. Accepted forms of identification include driving licenses, “Kela” cards, and Veikkaus cards, which are provided by the operator.
Until the end of 2023, scratchcards will continue to be sold without identification checks. Any winnings from scratchcards purchased in 2023 can be claimed without providing identification. This aligns with the country’s Lottery Act.
Scratchcards are the last product group to be subjected to identification requirements. Since last May, consumers have been required to provide identification for coupon games such as Lotto and Eurojackpot.
According to Ville Venojärvi, Veikkaus’ director of sweepstakes, the conditions for identification checks on scratchcards are favorable. He states that a large customer base is already accustomed to identification checks for coupon games. Veikkaus aims to prevent gambling-related disadvantages, strengthen age limit monitoring, and create a safer gaming environment for all players through the implementation of identification checks.
In other news, Veikkaus plans to introduce a new scratchcard-based draw game in 2024. Players who do not win with their scratchcards will have the opportunity to enter them into a daily draw at various points of sale across Finland. On a daily basis, five prizes of €1,000 will be distributed through the draw. The aim is to provide more excitement and opportunities to scratchcard players while meeting their expectations.
The introduction of mandatory identification checks on scratchcards and the launch of the new draw game come amidst a significant change in the gambling market in Finland. The country’s Ministry of the Interior recently unveiled plans to establish a regulated market by 2026, ending Veikkaus’ monopoly on gambling. A licensing system will be implemented, and Veikkaus’ online monopoly will come to an end. However, the operator is expected to retain its monopoly status for the lottery and retail slot machines. Despite losing its exclusivity, Veikkaus is supportive of the regulatory plans and has expressed its willingness to assist the government in its efforts.
Nevertheless, Veikkaus has warned about potential job losses due to the restructuring. The company anticipates cutting approximately 240 jobs and plans to reduce the number of gaming venues from 65 to between 40 and 50 as it prepares for the end of its monopoly.