Veikkaus Under Fire Over Deal

Veikkaus, the Finland gambling monopoly, is under fire over a report that suggested it struck a major deal with an international gambling operator without going through a proper tender process.

An investigative journalism programme in Finland has reported that in the autumn of 2018, Veikkaus signed a deal with the global gambling brand IGT. According to the report, the deal was set to run for a period of eight years, although there were options to extend it for another three periods. The deal was said to be worth a substantial figure, rumoured to be in the tens of millions of Euros.

In response, Veikkaus have asserted that the deal was not a significant development but was instead an adjustment to a previous agreement.

According to reports during the summer of 2018, Veikkaus senior management talked about striking a deal to bolster its gambling system, which includes a range of popular sports betting and lottery games played in person and online throughout Finland. The discussions apparently led to the company considering two options for a new deal with gambling technology concern IGT, both of which would not involve putting the contract out to a competitive tender. A 20-year deal with IGT was eventually signed in the autumn of 2018.

The report alleged that Veikkaus had sought to keep the deal quiet to avoid scrutiny by competition authorities. But in response, Veikkaus said that the deal was not made public as there was no need for what they described as ‘active external communications’.

But the controversy is the latest bad news development for Veikkaus, which has been under fire over a number of issues in recent months, including its approach to marketing and what some have criticised as an over-reliance on slot machines. The company has since agreed to reduce up to 3,000 slot machines across Finland and have also committed to a cut in the pay of senior executives if problem gambling continues to rise in the country.

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