What’s Happening With Gambling in Finland?

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Finnish gambling reform was meant to strengthen the government-controlled monopoly Veikkaus , however, there are now talks of abolishing it entirely.

Along comes January 2023 and the government of Finland is now considering getting rid of Veikkaus entirely, a dream come true for Finnish-focused online casino operations, among them, Quickslot, with a platform of more than 3,000 casino games.

Finland is a rather small country in Northern Europe that loves its gambling. For a country of this size, Finland has some peculiarities that are distinctive to it.

First, Finns love their bonuses.  That's something Veikkaus has never offered. Being a monopoly has its perks:  No compeition and government set restrictions.  The two could easily go hand-in-hand.  If we were running the only online casino in the country, it would be easy to say "no bonuses" under the guise of player protection and social responsibility.  Once the competition comes to the market offering free spins and the like, all that social responsibility goes right out the window.

The way around all of this for Finnish gamblers is to play at online casinos catering to the nation's players and using the Finnish language, but operating abroad. 

What the New Law was Supposed to do

The Finnish government wished to restrict Finns from playing at all foreign online casinos, many of which are served in hubs across Europe.  In fact, we know of plenty of operators in Malta that are from Finland.  Sorry, we've never personally been to Estonia to provide observations from there.

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 Finland Government had hoped to mirror US "reforms", which included going after the banking sector with an unfunded mandate requiring these institutions not to allow financial transfers for gambling purposes.  Some of the bigger banks like Wells Fargo got on board.  They don't allow their bank-issued credit cards to be used for any online gambling transactions.  This has carried over to the US regulated market.  Remember the saying "Be careful what you wish for".  The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) continues to rear its ugly head to this day.

The same desire was for Finns to also have the inability to transfer money from their bank accounts or credit cards. 

Banks in the country are easy to use and quite trustworthy.  Of course, there are get-arounds such as e-wallets and cryptocurrencies.  In fact, the later is becoming the ideal method of funds transfers in so-called "grey" markets like Finland.

The End May Be Coming.....for Veikkaus

Just as all these gambling restrictions were supposed to be finalized came word that Finland is considering ending its long standing Veikkaus gambling monopoly.  An interim report from Veikkaus pretty much threw in the towel, suggesting the monopoly could no longer compete with international online casino sites.  As such, new gambling regulations imposed by the Finland government are anticipated.  What those might be are anybody's guess.

What About Online Casinos Targeted To The Finnish Markets? 

The gambling industry is well aware of the upcoming changes in Finland. Online casinos operating abroad have no intention to stop offering their games and services to the Finnish markets.

On the other hand, any regulations could impact revenue. Elderly players, as an example, are not willing to change their way of transferring money from traditional banks to modern e-wallets.

No matter what happens, an all out war on internet casinos operating outside the country that targets Finns seems to be on the backburner.  Most operators and affiliates will breathe a sigh of relief as a result.

- B.E. Delmer, Gambling911.com

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