Finnish national betting agency Veikkaus has announced that in the future, users of slot games will have to authenticate their identity before being able to play the games. While the authentication process will be required for slot machines, it may not be applicable to the weekly lottery Lotto.
According to Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yle, the decision by Veikkaus to add identification verification to the games was made after a study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL found that the method is effective in reducing the negative effects of gambling. Estimates in the report showed that as many as 130,000 individuals in Finland deal with an addiction to gambling.
The changes would affect over 18,000 slot games and won’t take affect until 2023, according to the report. The slot machines are located in areas such as petrol stations, supermarkets and gaming kiosks. Despite the later start date, some slot machines will require the player to provide identification before game play can begin. As machines are restocked, newer installations of games will demand that players provide identity first.
It is believed that the cost to add the identification process to the machines will range from 50 million Euros to 100 million. Yle was told by Veikkaus Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Pekka IImivalta that there is no current time frame as to when the upgrades will take place.
According to IImivalta, the specifics of the change are still being considered. IImivalta also stated that it has yet to be determined if the authentication process will be affecting all games in Finland and all types of gambling available. As mentioned earlier, the Lotto may not be affected. In terms of the dangers associated with gambling, the Lotto, according to the report, is considered one of Veikkaus’ least harmful games.
There will be kinks to work out with the authentication system, such as how non-residents of Finland, like tourists, will have the ability to use the slot games.
Currently, the majority of the slot machines provided by Veikkaus can be accessed via a Veikkaus card. The authentication process, however, does not include gaming restrictions as of yet. The card can only allow players to follow gaming activity online once logged in.
According to Yle, the daily Helsingin Sanomat has reported that the betting agency intends to introduce machines that can only be used when players self-identify in locations like supermarkets.