Wednesday, May 12
Finnish culture has a keen interest, bordering on an obsession, with unskilled gambling. Checkout counters get clogged up every weekend with people buying lottery tickets and then returning them optimistically in the hope that they might have won enough to buy some more tickets.
Almost all supermarkets (however large or small) have fruit machines in marked off areas of the store, where people go before or after buying their lottery tickets.
RAY, the state gambling monopoly, switched off all the fruit machines fourteen months or so ago, at the start of the pandemic, and they have remained shut ever since.
Today we go to Prisma after work and I spot a fruit machine in use. The other two remain shut but this one has opened and not a moment too soon by the look of it. We pass it on the way into the store and again on the way out.
People get back into the swing of losing their spare change both times.