Preparations for Finnish gambling operators' merger to begin

Ministry of the Interior 17.9.2015 14.35
News item

Government Communications Department's press release

Proposals for the merger of the three Finnish gambling operators, Fintoto Oy, Veikkaus Oy and Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY), were approved today on 17 September by the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy. The Ministry of the Interior will start drafting the legislation without delay.

The aim is to strengthen the Finnish gambling monopoly by establishing a single, wholly state-owned company to operate gambling in the country. The gambling operators, beneficiaries and competent authorities have drawn up a memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the merger. The first step will be to set up a temporary integration company to prepare the merger. The company's board of directors will have six members. The chair and two members of the board will be appointed by the Government, and each gambling operator will appoint one board member.

The second step will be to establish a new, wholly state-owned company. The Government Ownership Steering Department of the Prime Minister's Office will be responsible for implementing the merger in practice together with the gambling operators. The Ministry of the Interior will coordinate the project and draft the necessary legislation. The project will be monitored by Parliament.

The assets of the gambling operators have been placed in reserve for use by beneficiaries. The operators' employees and questions relating to beneficiaries will be taken into account when preparing the merger.

The merger is based on a unanimous parliamentary report prepared during the previous government term. The aim is to maintain the Finnish gambling system based on the monopoly of national operators. It is the best way to reduce the negative social and health effects of gambling and to prevent abuses. In addition, gambling revenue will continue to be used for non-profit purposes. Provisions on the allocation of the revenue will be laid down in a new act.

Inquiries:

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