What’s Happening With Gambling in Finland?

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Finland is a rather small country in Northern Europe. For a small country, when it comes to gambling,  it has some peculiarities that are distinctive to it. Finnish gambling laws are very strict and they ban competition, even for online casinos, but on the other hand the monopoly Veikkaus can place its slots machines to the lobbies of grocery stores, gas stations and little kiosks. At the moment it seems like the Finnish government is tightening the position of the monopoly, which will have huge impacts on Finnish players and foreign online casinos. What is going on? 

No Bonuses For Finns 

Players love a nice set of bonuses, no matter what the nationality. Unfortunately for the Finns, when it comes to bonuses, the time is running out. Kierrätysvapaita ilmaiskierroksia, as Finnish players call free spins, or any other types of bonuses are soon no longer available. Not in the current way, at least.

Veikkaus has never offered any bonuses to its customers. This is mainly because of two reasons: being a monopoly means that you have no competition and on the other hand Veikkaus is not allowed to lure players to try its services with any types of bonus campaigns. This is part of the responsible aspect that the law requires Veikkaus to perform.

At the moment Finnis players are getting their casino bonuses only from casinos that are being operated abroad. Somethings’ about to change. And no, it’s not Veikkaus starting to offer bonuses. Something bigger is coming, and Finns are not too happy with it. 

New Laws Being Planned 

The Finnish government is planning to restrict Finns from playing at all foreign online casinos. As you might already know, there are lively and active gambling hubs across Europe, mainly in Estonia and Malta. Even though Finland has had the Veikkaus monopoly for ages, thanks to the internet, Finns have been able to transfer money to foreign casinos as well. What the government is now planning are payment blocks.

The idea behind these blocks is to make it impossible for Finnish players to make deposits or to receive money from foreign online casinos. In short this means that in the future, Finns are not able to transfer money from their Finnish bank accounts or credit cards. 

This will for sure change the life of at least some portion of players. Finnish banks are easy to use and very trustworthy. Until now Finns have not had a reason to use other types of services, such as e-wallets or foreign banks. Majority of them are not familiar with these types of payment methods, and some might not be willing to try them at all - not even if they are then restricted from playing at their favourite online casinos.

On the other hand the government’s decision to set these payment blocks might end up upsetting many players. Their reaction to the new law might be completely different than the government is now expecting. Instead of shifting to Veikkaus, they might want to rebel against and start using e-wallets to continue playing at their favourite casinos. Finland as a country, being part of the EU and global markets, cannot ban Finnish citizens from using e-wallets and opening bank accounts for foreign banks. 

What About Online Casinos Targeted To The Finnish Markets? 

The gambling industry is well aware of the upcoming changes in Finland. So far our editorial team has not heard of any changes in how the different online casinos are planning to set their strategies. To our understanding casinos will not stop offering their games and services to the Finnish markets, but on the other hand they are expecting slight changes to their revenue. It is quite natural that for instance the elderly players are not willing to change their way of transferring money from traditional banks to modern e-wallets.

Many online casinos are already now informing their clients about the changes that the new law will bring. The most important message at the moment for them is to tell their audiences that even after the payment blocks it’s still not illegal to gamble online. Finnish media and ministers have been trying to portray the new situation as something that would make it illegal for Finns to play online at foreign companies, but this is not the case.

In other words, Finnish players can enjoy their bonuses, superb games and all the services a foreign casino is offering also in the future. The only real difference in the gaming experience will be in the money transfers and how the players can make their deposits and receive their winnings. 

We will keep following how the situation unfolds and reporting. Stay tuned!

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