Industry Reports

Online Gambling Continues to Rise in Finland Reaching Nearly Half of Q1 Sales

The popularity of online gambling is seeing record highs all around the world and Finland is no exception with digital sales making nearly half of all sales in the first three months of the year. The state-run gambling and betting agency Veikkaus posted its Interim Report for Q1 2018 which shows that online gambling increased by 10 per cent only in the three months ending March 31. Another segment that saw increased interest was the traditional lotteries and scratch cards as a result of the February’s win of the largest ever Eurojackpot in the city of Loimaa.

Vekkaus is the Finnish national gambling agency, which is responsible for all lotteries, sports betting, parimutuel horse racing and casino gaming operations. On Wednesday, it released its Interim Report for the first quarter of 2018, saying that the year has started according to expectations. The report shows a slight decline of around 1 per cent in total turnover from the same period last year. This could be explained by the new responsible gaming tools that were launched in the end of last year. Vekkaus generated sales of €805.6 million in the three months ending March 31, while the net profit reached €256 million, up 2 per cent year-on-year.

In terms of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), the total Finnish gaming market amounted to an estimated €487 million. Revenue increased in most segments, with lotteries and instant win games posting €303.5 million in sales, up 4.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. The profit from slot games, both land-based machines and online slots, rose 6.7 per cent to €207.1 million. The official data for betting on sports events and horse racing, on the other hand, reveals a decline of 3.8 per cent to a little over €150 million. Despite the slight increase in online betting (0.8%) from the same period last year, retail betting saw a significant decrease of 14.6 per cent.

Online gambling increased 10 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2017, figures reveal. This positive trend brought digital channels’ share of all Q1 sales to 43.9 per cent, showing the shifting focus in Finnish gambling towards online platforms. The remaining turnover (56.1%) during the period came from retail outlets. According to the report, Veikkatus managed to account for nearly 90 per cent of the online market in Finland, but as it is still competing against international gambling operators, it admits it should change its strategy for 2018.

Record €90 million Eurojackpot Win Claimed This Week

In February, five Finnish ticket holders won the €90 million jackpot in the Eurojackpot lottery but did not come forward until several days ago, Vekkaus revealed in an official statement. The winners purchased the winning ticket at a Prisma supermarket in the southwest city of Loimaa. According to the gambling agency, the record-breaking jackpot win popularized lotteries and scratch cards in the country which led to increased sales and revenues.

Eurojackpot is a transnational European lottery that launched in March 2012 and it offers participants to predict five winning numbers out of 50, plus additional two numbers. The odds of making the perfect prediction and winning the jackpot have been calculated at 1 in 95,344,200. The top prize starts at €10 million and it can reach €90 million. Currently, Eurojackpot is available in the following countries – Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Poland. The other two transnational lotteries in Europe are EuroMillions and Vikinglotto.