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NGOs working to combat gambling addiction have called for Veikkaus, the state-owned monopoly gambling operator, to adopt a board composition having public health experts.

The non-profits say that the organisation focuses too heavily on making profits at the expense of reducing problem gambling.

Moreover, expertise on the drawbacks of excessive gambling plays “a very small role” on the Veikkaus board, according to Inka Silvennoinen, division manager of the NGO Peluuri said.

The Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention or Ehyt, called for Veikkaus to adopt a board composition similar to that of the state-owned alcohol monopoly retailer Alko, which typically has public health experts.

“It would be preferable for the Veikkaus board, management and administrative bodies to also have expertise in preventing harmful gambling,” Juha Mikkonen, executive director of Ehyt said.

“I think it’s important that we consider this aspect when subsequent board members are selected,” Sirpa Paatero, the minister responsible for government ownership steering said.

NGOs also suggested that like Alko, the ministerial oversight for Veikkaus could be transferred to the social and health affairs ministry. The prime minister’s office is currently responsible for monitoring the performance of the gambling firm.

“If we consider that Veikkaus’ main mission is to prevent problem gambling, it could raise the question of whether or not ownership steering should lie with the social affairs and health ministry, which is responsible for work combating the dangers of excessive gambling,” Mikkonen said.

“Alko is governed by the health ministry because the state-owned company has a specific function that is related to public health,” Mikkonen added.

“This is why it was seen as better that overall ownership steering would be in three places, because there is no justification for oversight to lie in the same functions that manage funding distribution,” Paatero said.

Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: NGOs Want Veikkaus to Appoint Public Health Experts to its Board