Government’s Betting Boss gets €500 000

Two years ago, FinnishNews/NordicWeek discussed how politicians feather their own nest with cushy jobs without much real work – here is the link. 

The government in Finland owns a betting company that has a domestic monopoly on betting.

This company is called Veikkaus Oy and it basically offers people the opportunity to play poker and place bets online for horses and sports, and Lotto, as well as on betting machines in supermarkets, shops and kiosks. The money spent is used for “good” purposes like sport, culture and healthcare. The company proudly claims to be a responsible player and ensure that players do not become addicted or suffer in any way. They have websites to help those in need of support.  

That’s the official story! The reality is that their main customers are pensioners and others with low incomes who dream of winning, many of whom are addicted to gambling. Their advertising is aggressive and as stated in 2017, the 2 big retail companies, Kesko and S.Group who have a 84% market share, have placed their betting services in the best spots in their shops and supermarkets and expect the managers to achieve stated monthly profits from their use. 

Many people who waste their euros on betting are normally entitled to rental and living subsidies so while the companies make a nice profit the taxpayers pay out even more in these subsidies.

The 2017 also covered how the Chairman of the board in that company got €40 000 for a few board meetings each year. 

The current CEO of the company makes a pleasant €500 000 each year and the rest of his executive managers take home another €2 million. They also runs a popular big log cabín in Lapland for executive management, the Board, for the political appointees of his Supervisory Board – all 28 of them – and probably for his corporate friends and clients too! However, paying clients are seldom if ever invited…

The latest twists in this company’s chequered history is that it has “decided to stop” all advertising because it was becoming too aggressive according to several ministers… There are stories that the management need to get their bonuses up, but obviously that is not true since they claim to operate responsibly…

… and there is no truth in the claim that the police, who regulate betting activities in Finland, have not received all the necessary papers regarding the company’s strategy. The company claims that they have delivered all of their PowerPoint corporate strategies, and cannot possibly be accused of maximising profits as the expense of their important clients, the sad ordinary folk who spend an arm and a leg trying to get rich quickly…

These companies spend money on nice things because “they operate responsibly”, however, when asked about what “responsibly” means the Chairman says that it is very difficult to define precisely, because the face so much competition from foreign online competitors. So we must assume that the Chairman can be trusted to be doing the right thing so we can always feel safe and secure that the government-owned company is definitely operating in a perfectly responsible way, can’t we?


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