Finnish government-owned betting agency Veikkaus is set to launch a mandatory identity verification for several of its slot machines starting October this year. This comes ahead of a full launch of the controls across its network from January 2021.
The revised Finnish Lotteries Act will make compulsory verification checks at all retail gambling venues in the country starting from 2023. However, Veikkaus has requested that this date be moved forward. The operator has already committed to introducing the measures at its Pelaamo and Feel Vegas arcardes starting January 2021.
Veikkaus will now introduce a pilot scheme next month, which will require ID verification, or account-based play, for roughly 100 terminals all over the country.
Consumers playing on these terminals need to identify themselves using their Veikkaus player’s card, a bank card, or a verified mobile application connected to the operator’s customer database.
The ID measures will also be applied to all new slot games launched by Veikkaus launched before the end of 2020. Players also need to identify themselves before being allowed access to new titles such as the Lampunhenki, Viidakkoyuori, and Kultatassu.
“The transition to mandatory identification is one of Veikkaus’ most important responsibility measures, which aims to prevent gambling problems,” Jari Heino, Veikkaus’ director of channels and sales, said. “With the pilot to be carried out in the autumn, we want to test the functionality of the identification controls,” he added.
The mandatory identification checks, according to Veikkaus, would also enable it to introduce new tools to help prevent problem gambling. This includes linking machines to its self-exclusion system, which means players can block access to the devices directly from the terminals.
All Veikkaus decentralized slots in kiosks, shops, traffic stations, and restaurants will require their customers to verify their identity before they are allowed to gamble by the end of January next year.
“We hope that as any slot machine players as possible will register before it becomes mandatory,” Heino said. “Currently, only about 10% of slot machine players are registered. By offering games only to verified players, we aim to increase the registration date by January,” he added.