ICE Preview: Jari Vähänen - Veikkaus - Aiming for a strong Finnish

ICE Preview: Jari Vähänen - Veikkaus - Aiming for a strong Finnish

Monday, January 29, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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Vähänen is involved with Veikkaus' International Business Development department.

Veikkaus Oy is the national betting agency of Finland. Fully owned by the Finnish government and managed by the Ministry of Education, the body acquired rivals RAY (slots) and Fintoto (horse racing) back in 2016 to monopolise the Scandinavian nation’s betting market. Jari Vähänen is Senior Vice President of International Business Development at Veikkaus, and will speak at next week’s highly-anticipated ICE VOX. He caught up with to discuss future plans for Veikkaus and the wider lottery industry.

Totally Gaming: Hi Jari, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. In 2016, Finland's three state-owned gambling operators unified under the Veikkaus brand. How successful do you believe this move has been?

Jari Vähänen: We have now run the new Veikkaus one year and it’s quite difficult to say how well it has went. We have mainly concentrated on integration issues and haven’t had so much time for new business issues. The annual result of the company last year will be at the same level than those three former companies had together year before.

TG: What are your views on the EuroMillions third party betting ban?

JV: I think that it’s good start from lotteries point of view. Although I like Lottoland’s innovative business idea I also think that they have misused the brands of lottery world. That decision will block them out of that at least in UK.

TG: And how healthy do you believe the global lottery industry is at the current time? Do you have any concerns?

JV: The lottery industry is healthy but it might have some challenges or even problems ahead if we don’t put more resources towards innovation and product development. I think that lotteries should offer competitive products to their customers and don’t trust just on monopoly situation.

TG: Finally, what plans are in place to ensure Veikkaus has a strong 2018?

JV: We’ll have more resources and time to develop our business compared to last year. We should get quite a lot positive results from that integration process – cost efficiency should be better and we should have better chance to develop something totally new. We could have some new products or even product areas. We try to make new partnerships and further develop current ones.

Jari Vähänen will head up a discussion on 'Lottery Tech Innovation' at 3pm on Wednesday 7th February. The talk is part of the wider 'Modernising Lotteries' agenda on day three of ICE.

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