Finland is facing a serious gambling addiction problem. A recent survey conducted by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and health shows that over the past two years, gambling addiction and problem gambling is on the rise. Let’s read on.
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Finland in trouble with problem gambling and gambling addiction
The government of Finland is worried about gambling addiction amongst its people. Over the past two years gambling addiction and problem gambling has risen and now the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is determined to find out how the three-state run gambling operators can be merged into one.
The survey was conducted on around 2,600 Finnish citizens aged 18+ and though it was reported by Yle, Finnish media outlet, that gambling amongst males has fallen over the past several years, gambling addiction and problem gambling has risen.
In 2017, Veikkaus was running the national lottery, and after merging with gaming machine provider RAY and the horse bookies Fintoto, there was a considerable difference in the amount of problem gamblers, which is why the Ministry of Social Affairs in Finland believes have one state operated gambling company (as Sweden does for example) will help identify problem gamblers and raise gambling awareness.
Social scientist Matilda Hellman said, “It was definitely optimistic to think that something would have changed. Gambling has the same cultural and social functions for Finnish residents.” She went on to suggest how government control over gambling could help resolve the problems much easier, “The fusion of Fintoto, Ray and Veikkaus hasn’t particularly helped to regulate the sector.”
Around 27% of the people in the survey said that Veikkaus is marketing too many gambling ads.
Compared with a similar survey taken last year, that amount was recorded at just 17%.
16% of people said that ads compelled them to go out and gamble more whereas 65% said that they weren’t bothered by the ads.
Last week the first public protest were made and citizens began to make petitions for the removal of video gambling machines from gas stations and grocery shops. Their efforts have thus raised 7,400 signatures
What kind of reply can we expect from the Ministry of Social Affairs in Finland, will merging the three major gambling operators under state control serve to protect the community (as Sweden has, where the national gambling corporation pays its profits into the National Treasury) or will it ruin the competitivity of the market, practically making a state monopoly on gambling. Let us know in the comment section below if you liked this article and would see others like it.