Finland’s gambling monopoly Veikkaus will introduce mandatory identification checks on scratch card games from next year.
From January 1, 2024, players will be required to provide identification to purchase scratch cards and claim any winnings. Veikkaus says this will apply to games such as the Ässä and Casino lottery.
Valid IDs include driving licenses, “Kela” cards and Veikkaus cards, the latter being provided by the operator.
Scratch cards will be sold as before until the end of 2023. Winnings from scratch cards purchased in 2023 can be claimed without presenting ID. This is in line with the country’s lottery law.
Scratch cards are the latest product group to be added to games that require the player to show ID. Since May last year, consumers have had to present ID for voucher games such as Lotto and Eurojackpot.
“The conditions for identifying scratch cards are good,” said Veikkaus competition manager Ville Venojärvi. “We have a very large customer base with the identification of coupon games. Identification is already a familiar way of working for our customers.
“Veikkaus is one of the first gaming companies in the world to require identification to play both digital and physical channels, including scratch cards. With identification, we prevent gaming disadvantages, strengthen the monitoring of age limits and create a safer gaming environment for everyone.”
Veikkaus introduces new scratch card draw game
In related news, Veikkaus has announced that it will launch a new scratch-based draw game in 2024.
Players who purchase scratch cards and do not win can enter them into a daily raffle at points of sale throughout Finland. Five prizes worth €1,000 will be raffled off every day.
“The new additional draw offers excitement to scratch card players more often than before,” said Venojärvi. “Participation in the new additional lottery is easier and we are responding to customers’ wishes with reforms.”
Finland wants to open the gambling market
The news comes that Veikkaus will lose its gambling monopoly in Finland. Last month, the country’s Interior Ministry unveiled plans to create a regulated market by 2026.
This will introduce a licensing system and end Veikkaus’ online monopoly. However, it is expected that Veikkaus will retain its monopoly status for the lottery and retail slot machines.
Although this will effectively end Veikkaus’ exclusivity in the gambling market, the operator seems positive about the plans. Deputy CEO Velipekka Nummikoski says Veikkaus welcomes the idea of regulation and will support the government in its efforts.
Although Veikkaus supports the plans, this does not stop the company from warning about possible job losses. Last month, Veikkaus said it expected to cut jobs and close arcades as part of its preparations for the end of its monopoly.
Veikkaus warned that the restructuring could lead to the loss of around 240 jobs. The operator also plans to reduce the number of its gaming venues from 65 to 40 to 50.