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Finnish state-owned gambling operator Veikkaus is set to remove up to 240 jobs amid a business review.

A further 195 employees could see “significant changes in the terms of employment” as part of the review, according to a statement published on the operator’s website.

The changes are expected as Veikkaus prepares to move part of its online operations into the international licensed gambling market, it said.

While Veikkaus is set to maintain its lottery and slot machine monopoly in Finland, its online operations are set to expand into the international market while also preparing to compete with new licensees in the local market.

Finnish licensing background

In June, Finland’s government made a commitment to introduce a new licensing system for commercial gambling operators by 2026.

The new regime is expected to cover both online casino and betting.

At present, commercial gambling operators are not able to get a licence to offer online gambling in Finland, but can still do so through international regulatory authorities such as those in Curacao, Malta and the Isle of Man.

Finland’s government said the reason behind the introduction of a new licensing system is to address and mitigate the adverse consequences of gambling by moving customers away from grey market operators.

Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski has previously made calls for the introduction of new gambling regulations in the country.

Veikkaus plans

As a result of the new regime, Veikkaus said it plans to invest heavily in its online business after it is spun off from the monopoly lottery business.

“Preparing for changes in the gaming industry and internationalisation are a really important part of Veikkaus’ growth strategy,” said CEO Sarekoski.

“We are building a future where Veikkaus is Finland’s most successful gambling company and a major player in the international market.”

This month, therefore, the business will begin negotiations affecting almost the entire organisation, it said.

In addition to the 240 likely job losses and further changes to 195 other roles, Veikkaus plans to reduce the number of land-based arcades it operates in Finland from 65 to between 40 and 50.

It will also discuss the possible closure of the Tampere Casino.

“We want to be competitive in the future licence market and vital in the monopoly market. That’s why we need changes in our operations that affect the entire company,” said Sarekoski.

“It means many parallel changes. We go through the entire organisation from the point of view of profitability and growth.

“We also have to make difficult decisions. For some, these changes may mean the end of the employment relationship,” he concluded.