This means that the country’s gambling monopoly Veikkaus can resume land-based gaming operations in the district. As a result it will bring 135 slot machines, hosted in shops, petrol stations and restaurants, back into service.
Veikkaus does not have any casinos or gaming halls in the region.
Finland’s government is determining Covid-19 restrictions based on case numbers in each hospital district of the country, and until 15 December 16 districts in which Veikkaus had some form of activity was under the strictest measures.
This forced it to shut all land-based gaming in every district, aside from Lapland, Eastern Savo and North Savo from late November, prompting the operator to enter negotiations with employee representatives over 90-day furloughs for staff.
“In making decisions, we follow the authorities’ recommendations,” Veikkaus regional sales manager Tapani Kippo explained. “Kainuu is now at a basic level [of Covid-19 infection], so opening procedures can be initiated.
Kippo added that if the district saw case numbers accelerating, it would be forced to shut down the 135 slot machines once again.
It comes after the operator announced yesterday that it would introduce mandatory identification on all slot machines from 12 January next year.
This will require players to verify their identity in order to gamble, and comes alongside a drive to take 8,000 slot across the country out of service by the end of 2020.