In Finland and land-based and online gaming operator Veikkaus Oy has announced that the dire impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic helped to push its most recent annual profit down by some 36.2% year-on-year to approximately €680.2 million ($819.8 million).
The state-run firm used an official press release to detail that its aggregated gross gaming revenues for the twelve months to the end of December dropped by an upsetting 25.5% year-on-year to about €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) as the coronavirus pandemic additionally reduced its overall margin by an estimated €300 million ($361.4 million).
Veikkaus Oy explained that its nationwide estate of slot parlors was at least partially shuttered for a minimum of five months last year as Finland attempted to contain the spread of the potentially-lethal contagion. It moreover asserted that these venues had accounted for around 56.6% of its annual revenues in 2020 although its budding digital channels conversely seemed to pick up at least some of the slack after chalking up an encouraging swell of 11.6% year-on-year to 43.2%.
To perhaps further highlight the shock of the coronavirus pandemic and Veikkaus Oy revealed that the total value of the legal Finnish gambling market declined by approximately 21% last year to roughly €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) although the company had managed to maintain its dominant position courtesy of an 80% market share.
Regina Sippel serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Veikkaus Oy and she used the press release to proclaim that the coronavirus pandemic had impacted her firm in multiple ways by forcing it ‘to make big, quick and painful decisions’ in order to protect the health and well-being of its players, agents and staff. However, she furthermore declared that the twelve-month period had equally seen the company continue to ‘build a more responsible gaming environment’ via alterations in the way it advertises, a 40% reduction in the size of its slot estate and the introduction of compulsory identification verification technology that allows players to permanently or temporarily suspend themselves.
Veikkaus Oy is responsible for Finland’s network of Pelaamot and Feel Vegas-branded gaming clubs as well as the prestigious Casino Helsinki venue and additionally asserted that it remains hopeful of being able to open its new Casino Tampere enterprise within the under-construction Uros Live Arena by the end of this year. But, Sippel pronounced that the coronavirus pandemic is certain to cast a shadow on her firm’s business for some time to come even as its share of the expanding local iGaming market grew to an eye-watering 63%.