Finnish bad news

Slot Machine Association starts job cut talks

Changes to Finnish gambling laws due for implementation in August 2010 will have a sad impact for some employees in the state-owned online and land gambling operations of the Finnish Slot Machine Association (RAY).

Finnish media reports early this week reveal that RAY has warned in a statement that it intends to cut around 80 jobs from its 1 700 labour force, adding that statutory cooperation procedure talks would start in early August.

"The growth in slot machines is mainly achieved through developing new technologies, such as internet distribution," the state gaming monopoly said. "In addition to the RAY strategy, the need for change is based on the measures taken by the Finnish government and changes in consumer behaviour.

"According to the revised Lottery Act, the marketing of gaming is limited from autumn 2010, and the general age limit for gaming will be increased to 18 years in 2011. In addition, the lottery tax for slot machine and casino gaming operations will be increased from 8.2 percent to 10 per cent in the beginning of 2011."

Ray added that 345 workers could be affected by the job cut talks, although it is not anticipated that more than 80 positions will actually be lost.

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