Group to assess risks and harmful effects related to gambling

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2.1.2017 8.05
Press release 264
Group to assess risks and harmful effects related to gambling

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has appointed an independent group to assess the harmful effects of games operated by the new gaming company.

The new gaming company took up its activities at the beginning of 2017, when the Finland Slot Machine Association (RAY), Veikkaus Oy and Fintoto merged into one company. The new company's name is Veikkaus.

The assessment group will measure the risk of harm related to gambling, monitor the development of harmful effects related to gambling and give statements to the Ministry of the Interior on whether games should be approved for sale and whether marketing of games should be prohibited or permitted. Previously, authorities have had no method in place for the assessment of risks related to gambling.

Information on harmful effects of gambling to be forwarded to authorities

Until now, gaming companies have been permitted to launch their games on the market after the company has self-assessed the harmful effects and risks related to their games. However, the Government feels that in addition to the gaming company, authorities must also assess the effects of games with an appropriate assessment system. A self-assessment by the gaming company is not enough.

For this reason, the Government has included a provision in the Lotteries Act reform that the new gaming company must supply the required data on game consumption and harmful effects related to games to the authorities and, for this reason, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health must appoint an assessment group.

A reform to the Lotteries Act entered into force in late 2016.

Members of the assessment group

Antti Murto an expert from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is Secretary General of the assessment group and Professor Emeritus Pekka Sulkunen from the University of Helsinki is its chairman. The group's other members are Anne Salonen (National Institute for Health and Welfare), Tapio Jaakkola (Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention), Olli Sotamaa (University of Tampere) and Kati Rantala (University of Helsinki).

Further information

Director Kari Paaso, tel. +358 (0)2951 63340

Antti Murto, Expert, tel. +358 (0)2951 63221 (out of office 2 to 8 January 2017)

RAY grant activities to be transferred to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health at the beginning of 2017 (MSAH press release 22 December 2016)

Uuden rahapeliyhtiön aloitus 1.1.2017 vahvistettiin lailla (Ministry of the Interior press release 21 December 2016)

Uusi arpajaislaki vähentää järjestöjen byrokratiaa (MSAH press release 15 September 2016)