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Identification of slot machine players will be compulsory as of 2022

Ministry of the Interior 16.5.2019 14.52 | Published in English on 16.5.2019 at 15.09
Press release 38/2019

In order to reduce the negative economic, social and health impacts of gambling, players are in future required to identify themselves when they play slot machines found in shops or kiosks, for example.

The Government submitted the relevant amendments to the Lotteries Act for approval on 16 May, and the President of the Republic is to approve them on 17 May. The amendments will enter into force on 1 October 2019, but the compulsory identification of slot machine players will not be introduced until the start of 2022 following a transition period.

At the moment, players must identify themselves when they play Veikkaus online games. When identification is also required at slot machines, restrictions can be introduced to manage at-risk gambling at physical slot machines, too. Under the Lotteries Act, the age limit for all gambling is 18 years. When players are required to identify themselves, compliance with the age limit can be monitored more effectively at the same time, as identification will in future require players to be Veikkaus customers.

It is possible to equip slot machines with devices enabling identification even before 2022. At this stage, compulsory identification will not apply to slot machines in Veikkaus’ own game arcades. The Ministry of the Interior is working together with the National Police Board, problem gambling experts in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the National Institute for Health and Welfare, organisations involved in the prevention of problem gambling and Veikkaus Oy to prepare the technical implementation of compulsory identification and restrictions set on gaming accounts.

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

Licence procedures for non-money lotteries, bingo games, non-money prize machines and certain other game machines and game equipment will be simplified by extending the maximum length of the permit from six months to 12 months. In addition, the limit for the combined sales price of the tickets in a small lottery run without a non-money lottery licence will be raised from EUR 2,000 to EUR 3,000. These amendments are to enter into force on 1 October 2019.

Inquiries:

Jukka Tukia, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 573, [email protected]
Elina Rydman, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 586, [email protected]