CEACG’s latest report presents the first results from a study that inquires into opinions on gambling policy among residents in the city of Tampere. It is also the first study to examine city residents’ opinions on the upcoming casino.
Basically, the focus-group participants saw the casino as something positive. Yet, they did not share the hopes of the city officials that Tampere is to become a destination for international tourism. The interviewees would question whether the city is to aim for such a goal as it collides with the residents’ own perceptions of a down-to-earth city identity. In the light of previous casino research, a surprising circumstance was that crime was not brought up as a matter of concern in the discussions.
The study once again demonstrated the central position of the support of good causes for justifying the Finnish gambling monopoly system. The monopoly, as well as the current system of funding good causes by its profits, are clearly favoured by the participants.
While expressing a lower level of criticism towards the regulation of gambling than the participants in a previous focus-group study in the Helsinki area, two points of concern were shared by the residents in both regions: the first is the wide availability of gambling slot machines (available in supermarkets, restaurants and kiosks all over Finland), and the contradictory image of the monopoly’s role and function. Worries were expressed regarding whether Veikkaus is actively trying to prevent problem gambling, or whether it wants to encourage gambling and increase profit.
The full report in Finnish is available here.