Finnish state-owned gambling operator Veikkaus has announced its latest financial results for the first half of this year, revealing a revenue growth of nearly 2%.
Veikkaus generated €875 million in revenue during the six-month period ending on July 30, which represents an increase of 1.8%. At the same time, profit went up by 2.5% to €505.5 million.
Veikkaus was established last year when three state-run monopolies were merged into one.
Sports Betting Turnover the Biggest Surprise
Possibly the biggest surprise during this period was a drop in sports betting turnover, which recorded a drop of 1.6% to €281.4 million, especially since it was expected it would go up due to the World Cup. And as betting in-store dropped by nearly 10%, online and mobile betting increased their popularity, recording a combined increase of 2.1%.
Online and mobile vertical accounted for 42.9% of the company’s overall revenue, while the rest of the earnings was brought home by Veikkaus’ land-based operations.
According to current figures, Veikkaus generate circa 90% of Finland’s entire betting and gaming revenue, which is estimated at €981 million. At this moment, Veikkaus operates 3,950 gaming locations, 87 arcades and the country’s only casino located in Helsinki. In total, the firm operates 21,424 video slot machines and 223 gaming tables.
Comments from the CEO
Commenting on the future plans, Veikkaus’ Chief Executive Officer Olli Sarekoski said the company was preparing for large-scale changes in the coming years. He also added the drastic changes in the operating environment, the ever-accelerating international competition and the planned shift towards comprehensive identification on decentralised slot machines required Veikkaus to carry out special measures and development work.
Last year, Veikkaus introduced a unique online gaming restriction concept, aimed at preventing problem gambling and increasing the protection of high-risk punters.
Speaking about this concept, Sarekoski said it had reduced the growth of the gross gambling revenue in Veikkaus’ digital channel by around €10 to €15 million during the first six months of the year.
He pointed out that in the future it would be important to monitor whether the restriction concept affected the gambling problems as intended, and stressed the operator would also need to make use of its increasing understanding whilst developing the tools of gaming control further.