The Committee on Economic Policy of the Finland Government has announced that the three gaming monopolies of the country will be merging into one entity. Finland has three domestic gaming monopolies which will now become one state-owned organization. Fintoto, which covers horse racing, RAY, which focuses on slots, and Veikkaus, the lotteries and betting arm, will all come together with the merger.
According to government officials, the merger will help to strengthen the commitment to reduce the social harms of gaming. A new law will be put in place for revenue sharing which will help to ensure that any revenue generated by gaming will be used for the good of the public.
It is expected that the merger will take place in two phases. The first step will be to prepare for a temporary integration of the three companies. This phase has already begun and will see the creation of a new director’s board which will include the government appointing two members and a chairman. The three companies will then be allowed to each have one seat on the board. When the board is created, the companies will then formally integrate, which is expected by be completed by the beginning of 2017.
Government officials have not stated who will be leading the new entity after the merger but betting operators in the area have placed odds on who may take the spot. It is interesting to note that the CEO of Veikkaus, Juha Koponen is the favorite at 1.3 to 1 odds.