Although Finland sets the golden standard in many aspects of finance and culture, it looks like they have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to fighting problem gambling. Despite the constantly introduced gambling laws and regulations targetting gambling addiction the situation is not improving, clearly demonstrating to the government and operators that more radical measures must be taken.
The recent survey funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and conducted by the Institute for Health and Welfare had the sole purpose of determining how the merge of the 3 state gambling operators contributed to fighting problem gambling. The participants were 2,600 Finnish citizens over 18 years of age and the results of the survey were quite interesting. Although the number of males suffering from problem gambling had decreased the overall number of Finnish gambling addicts had actually increased, indicating that women gamblers have been on the rise in the region.
The 2017 merge of 3 powerful gambling forces in Finland, namely Veikkaus (company managing the national lottery), and operators Ray and Fintoto, was strategized with the intent of having better control over the nation’s gambling operations and problem gambling in general. According to the recent study though, 27% of participants believe that this new unified organization, which is still under the name Veikkaus, uses advertising excessively to promote its products. Another 16% admitted to having been influenced by Veikkaus ads towards spending more money on gambling activities.
All that seems to have caused an outbreak of complaints by plain citizens who decided to take matters in their own hands through public campaigns. The latest was formed by a group of citizens that protested against having gambling machines in gas stations and grocery stores in Finland, having landed 7,400 signatures already.