New boss named for Finland's merged gambling operator

New boss named for Finland's merged gambling operator

Friday, July 1, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Olli Sarekoski is the CEO of new look Finnish operator Veikkaus

Olli Sarekoski has been named as the man overseeing the new look Finnish gambling operator Veikkaus. Sarekoski was announced this week by the Board of Directors at FRV Evo Oy as the figurehead of the new combined company which will be formed by the merging of the gaming operations of Fintoto, slot machine operator RAY, and bookmaker Veikkaus.

The shape of the merged company was only agreed last month, with the board decreeing that the enlarged operator would take the name of the betting brand in an attempt to make the gaming operations a more coherent marketing proposition.

Sarekoski is well placed to take the reins as the new CEO. He has been at the Veikkaus betting business for the past eight years and currently operates as Vice President and CEO.

While he’ll be heading up the monopoly operator Sarekoski recognises the competition from external operators. He said that the new firm would have to make every effort to respond responsibly in a digitally competitive market, while also supporting the state and horseracing.

The merging of the monopoly gaming operations in Finland under one brand will apparently ‘reinforce the Finnish responsible gaming system’ when it is introduced on 1 January 2017.

The company said that the name and identity were designed on the basis of an extensive multi-stage consumer survey in which a total of 4,300 Finns took part in the different stages of the survey. According to the survey, two out of three Finns feel that Veikkaus is a suitable name for the new gaming company as Finnish consumers are familiar with it and it represents ‘security and responsibility’.

The survey also analysed Finns’ views on a reliable gaming company. Among the key points raised in the survey were the fact that the products enjoy a strong Finnish consumer protection and that the company provides tools for gaming control and is a social benefactor.

Several experts from the three gaming companies were involved in the planning of the consumer survey. Whilst looking for the best possible solution, the working group also explored the option of introducing a completely new name but the customers were more comfortable with the existing Veikkaus branding.

The plan for the new company is to offer ‘fun and benefits’ by providing entertaining Finnish games with an ambition to generate over one billion euros a year to ‘the common good for everyone living in Finland’.

Chairman of the Board Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo commented: “Responsibility and reliability provide the basis for the new gaming company. Together we can secure proceeds from successful business operations to the benefit and joy of all of us who live in Finland. Our common important goal is that Finns can relate to the name of the new gaming company and will accept it as widely as possible.”

There has also been a lengthy investment in graphic design for the relaunch evidently. Apparently the symbol of the new company will ‘symbolise the company’s positive impact on society, representing three cornerstones: good causes, humanity, and entertainment’.

Totally Gaming Says: “The merging of the three operations makes sense in a competitive gaming world, even if those operations have an effective monopoly in Finland. The enlarged company will be expected to make an enlarged contribution to the state though, regardless of the digitally competitive market, which is where the balance between social responsibility and revenues will be brought into sharp focus.”

The new logo will ‘symbolise the company’s positive impact on society, representing three cornerstones: good causes, humanity, and entertainment’.

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