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Govt sets priorities for prevention of gambling problems

Published : 13 Jan 2020, 21:12

Updated : 14 Jan 2020, 09:36

  DF Report

File Photo Source Veikkaus.

The social affairs and health ministry has defined strategic priorities for steering the monitoring and research of the harms caused by gambling, development of prevention and treatment of such harms, and related risk assessment for the period of 2020 to 2023.

These priorities are based on the powers and obligations entrusted to the ministry under Section 52 of the Lotteries Act, said a government press release.

According to the strategic policy line, it is essential to strengthen the State monopoly in gambling to prevent and reduce its |To remain monopoly, more effective work to prevent and reduce its harms. Prevention and reduction of harm caused by gambling cover a wide range of measures at different levels, with responsibility divided between several players. Veikkaus Oy, a state-owned company, has the monopoly on the provision of gambling services in Finland.

The primary objective the legislation sets for the gambling system is to prevent and reduce the harms caused by gambling and to ensure the legal protection of gamblers.

Achievement of this goal requires development and implementation of preventive and corrective measures based on research into gambling habits and the harmful effects of gambling. A stronger knowledge base will make the country better equipped to respond to challenges in the changing operating environment, such as cross-border gambling.

The strategic priorities for activities to address the harms caused by gambling for 2020-2023 includes assessment of the gambling system and its implementation, and required support; definition, groups and problem gambling; and the availability and quality of support and care.

The ministry’s vision is to bring the risks and harms associated with gambling under control. This requires coordinated actions in line with the priorities, connections between research, development, and communication, and cooperation between all players in the sector. In addition, actions must be continuously monitored and assessed.

Actions rely on strong cooperation. Assessment of the risks associated with gambling is carried out by a working group operating in conjunction with the social affairs and health ministry. The ministry has entrusted the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) with carrying out and coordinating other work referred to in Section 52 of the Lotteries Act.