A Taste of In-Running Betting for Finnish Punters

7 December 2004

After launching a fast-paced live betting game last month, the Finish lottery monopoly, Veikkaus, dubbed itself "the first lottery in the world to introduce real-time betting."

The phenomenon of live betting is not new to the lottery and betting industry, but Veikkaus Director Jari Vähänen says his company's new product is unique

"There are already many live betting systems in the world," Veikkaus Director Jari Vähänen pointed out, "but our system differs much from them."

One such difference that Veikkaus customers can wager in the running via mobile phones through a WAP interface. Vähänen also said that Veikkaus' betting objects aren't the same as those of competitors

The new system enables customers to bet on events within a match, such as who will score next. The betting objects are opened as the game proceeds and include one or more optional results with predetermined fixed odds. All the bets are single.

The live betting option takes place at a much faster pace than the rest of its games, prompting Veikkaus to impose special restrictions on live betting. For example, a punter can only transfer $100 a day to the gaming wallet, and single bets cannot exceed $20. A player can only transfer money to the gaming wallet from Veikkaus' OnNet gaming account, so the player has to be a registered Veikkaus' customer to play.

Between January and September of 2004, Veikkaus' most successful games were fixed-odds betting and keno, both of which offer slightly higher payout percentages than the rest of the company's games. During that period, overall turnover increased 7.1 percent. Turnover for fixed-odds betting has grown by 96.9 percent since a game reform in February. The sales of Veikkaus' flagship "Lotto" game increased 3.2 percent after increasing the prize amounts by raising the price per game board. Also during that period, Veikkaus reported profits of $285.4 million ($8.5 million, or 3.1 percent, more than last year during the same period).

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.