Gambling Needs Clear Regulation & Controls

Readers will recall past articles about the dangers of gambling in FinnishNews. The first article described the clear predominance of pensioners and unfortunate rather desperate-looking folks standing in front of the government-owned monopoly’s slot machines. These machines are found in every supermarket owned by Kesko or S-Group, two retail chains that have 84% market share of the retail food business! The chains even have monthly and annual profit targets for these machines. Last year almost €2 billion was used in this gambling – an incredible sum of money that must represent a hefty slice of these users annual pensions and living subsidies.

The second article dealt with the glorious salaries of this monopoly, called “Veikkaus” (the Finnish word for gambling):

“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 cabin 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…”

Now a new player, the THL, (a Finnish acronym for the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) has prepared a careful study, stating that in 2019, a huge portion of the money spent on gaming, some 62%, came from players who had a gambling problem and these gamblers represent 35% of gamblers. The most disturbing problem is that a small group of gamblers, some 2.5%, were responsible for 50% of the total gambling volume. Only 24% of the money came from people who gambled without problems. 

This study just underlines that these highly paid Veikkaus executives had succeeded in making sure that addicts were well and truly addicted to ensure that they have nice salaries, bonuses and pensions! It is strange that the government’s own entities can have such diverse opinions about what is proper and acceptable – it is best described as schizophrenic! The same can be said about the two companies Kesko and S-Group. The bosses there also have exceptionally comfortable salaries, bonuses and pensions.

The second most astounding news is that the present government is trying hard to stop internet gambling because internet betting companies are intruding on our national soil without permission. Again one is good and to be supported, while the other is just 100% nasty.

Just to be clear – it is the opinion of the Editor-in-Chief that gambling is a complete waste of time that should to be not treated as an acceptable social pastime to save athletes, healthcare and orphans from the depths of hell. 

Small time raffles and limited sized Lotto is fine for but the rest of the business is just a great invitation for activities that have horrible consequences because of addiction and crime. Internet gambling deserves a lot more regulation and control… we the taxpayers end up paying far too much for the problems it creates.

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