Finland acts to increase slots machine age to 18

Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (MSAH) has issued a statement outlining its intention to prevent and treat compulsive gambling habits. Currently 1.2% (65,000 people) people in Finland may suffer from compulsive gambling habits.

One of the factors that will be under review will be to increase the legal minimum age of people that can play slot machines. In Finland people over the age of 15 can play slots – the youngest in Europe. If the proposal goes through the age limit will be raised to 18. In Finland slots are very popular and often appear in shopping malls and arcades up and down the country and as such remain largely accessible to all age groups.

The main responsibility for dealing with gambling problems in Finland lies with the social services and the municipalities. But recent surveys suggest that some 46% pay little or no attention to gambling addiction and do not consider it a social problem. 

The Finnish government research agency STAKES will take over research on the harm caused by gambling and online casinos and will conduct work to improve knowledge of the problem within the service system. It’s thought that further recommendations will then be made.

Editor, - 2007-08-14 12:42:35

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