Columns The harmless public interest was allowed to continue for too long

Indeed, the former benefactor has begun to look like an immoral exploiter, the losers of which are already the most vulnerable in society.

Gambling company Veikkaus announced at the end of the week that it would start co-operation negotiations with 830 employees and white-collar workers. A couple hundred people may lose their jobs, including arcade workers and equipment maintenance technicians.

The company cites changes in the operating environment and a decline in business volume as the reason for the reduction need. The gaming machine business in particular is in difficulty, and demand has been hampered by both interest rate restrictions and new identification requirements.

In the end, the problems of a gaming company are not just financial, but a matter of justifying the existence of the whole company. The harmless public interest and Sampo, which sows good things around it, has quickly become a hotbed of problems. It can be described as the most serious moral shipwreck of Finnish society to date.

Own my generation still remembers Saturday’s Lottery yellow lime coupons, the sex ad of the Lottery Girl who became a sex symbol of his time, and a cult commercial in which a rooted folk dreams of a million-dollar fitness break and touring the world. This catalog drawn in the national memory has contributed to Veikkaus’ position as a favorite child of society.

The gaming company has crystallized the dream of the common people of a better life brought by sudden wealth.

One or two a year ago, Veikkaus was merged with the Slot Machine Association, which operated slot machines, and Fintoto, a horse enthusiast. A new, industrial-scale gambling monopoly was born, far from its roots, from the innocent pastime played on small coins for public health.

Today’s Veikkaus’ position has been gnawed at by foreign gaming companies in the role of challenger. In an infinite world, they have been able to break the exclusivity of the national gaming monopoly. Gradually, a more serious challenge has risen from its own ranks. The increase in gambling disadvantages has led more and more people to evaluate Veikkaus with critical eyes. The former benefactor has begun to look like an immoral exploiter, the losers of the hell of which the already vulnerable are already in society. Indeed, the poor pay the bill for aid

Senja Larsen, a journalist who has become the most prominent critic of the game monopoly, describes Veikkauskratiain his book, gambling into a public disease that causes harm from depression to indebtedness and suicide. No wonder the acceptability of supermarket game queues, addictive mini-casinos and Veikkaus executive performance bonuses has suffered a serious blow.

The headwinding company has begun to beautify its image of responsibility so that it seems to take Gaming Disadvantages really seriously. At the same time, for example, some retailers have begun to combat the avalanche of gaming machines on their premises.

The stone footing under the gaming monopoly is now crumbling in a way that is difficult for the company itself to stop.

Gaming company the most loyal support network has been based on its position as a funder of a wide range of organizational activities. Few sports or sote bosses have wanted to start biting the nourishing hand. However, the gambling revenues that collapsed during the corona period have led to a situation where this interdependence is no longer the law of nature. More and more prominent politicians are ready to break the connection between the grants of the organizations and the game losses of the Finns.

It is high time to question the two-fund model, in which part of the funding of the Finnish welfare state goes through the kitchen, past the state’s comprehensive budget and the related democratic decision-making. The change would also allow organizations to release their debt of gratitude to the gambling company. Disengagement paves the way for a more transparent assessment of disadvantages.

Merging gambling companies at the time seemed a wise solution that improved the conditions for maintaining a national gaming monopoly. Now, however, it seems obvious that the patched giant is stumbling upon maximizing returns, the risks posed by unrestrainedly expanding digital gaming, and the inability to read signs of a change in the social climate in a timely manner.

Harmless the public interest was allowed to continue for too long. The question now is how to break the deadlock so that Finnish society finds ways to maintain its role as a taxpayer for domestic and international gaming companies.

The author is the editor-in-chief of HS.



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