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Gambling operators to be merged

Government Communications Department 30.6.2015 9.49
Press release 354/2015

On 30 June, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy expressed its support for the merging of all three gambling operators: Fintoto Oy, Veikkaus Oy and Finland’s Slot Machine Association.

A temporary integration company would be established to prepare the merger. In August, the gambling operators and the State will draft a memorandum of understanding on the activities of the integration company and the principles for preparing the merger. At that point, attention will be paid to the staff of the operators and questions relating to the beneficiaries of betting and lottery proceeds.

The operators will provide their respective opinions on the memorandum. Once the opinions have been received, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy will reconsider the merger of gambling operators. The Ministry of the Interior will then immediately launch all necessary legislative projects. Government bills concerning the amendment of the Lotteries Act and a new act on the allocation of proceeds would be drafted so that the government proposals could be submitted to Parliament for consideration no later than the spring sittings in 2017.

The integration company board of directors would include three representatives of the gambling operators and three of the State. The board would be chaired by a State representative.

The merger of operators is based on an unanimous parliamentary report prepared during the previous parliamentary term. The aim is to preserve a betting system based on the monopoly of national operators in Finland.  Monopoly is the best way to prevent abuse and criminal activity related to gambling and to reduce the negative social and health effects of gambling. Use of the proceeds to non-profit purposes is also maintained. A new act would lay down provisions on the allocation of betting and lottery proceeds.

Inquiries: Päivi Nerg, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 418 803, Ministry of the Interior and Eero Heliövaara, Director General, tel. +358 295 160 150, Prime Minister's Office