For over 70 years, Finland has had a state monopoly on gaming. Veikkaus Oy, a state-owned entity, provides gambling services. On January 1, 2017, Veikkaus Oy, Fintoto, and RAY (the Finnish Slot Machine Association) were combined into one business.
The overall objective of the state monopoly is to minimize social costs associated with gambling. The overall revenue from gambling is estimated at EUR 1.1 billion per year. These proceeds are spent on public interests, including sports and physical education, art, science, health and social well-being, youth work, as well as equestrian sports.
Gambling in Finland is regulated by the Lotteries act, which strives to guarantee not just the legal protection of gamblers but also to combat misuse and crime and prevent or minimize any harmful social, economic, and health-related effects attached to gambling.
To do this, the government has put in place several regulatory measures. The first layer of regulation is focused on the operators themselves and demands that they hold a license from the state to offer their services within Finland. This is done to grant only reputable and qualified companies to operate in the market. To receive their license, operators must adhere to a number of conditions as laid out in the gambling act.
The second layer of regulation falls on players themselves. The most important measure in this regard is that players must be 18 years of age or older to participate in any form of gambling.
“This is in place to protect minors, who are seen as being especially vulnerable to the adverse effects that gambling can have on their lives,” said Helli Lakola of Nettikasino247.com. “Finland’s gambling laws are designed to protect players while ensuring that operators such as Nettikasino maintain a high level of professionalism,” he added. Indeed, operators must adhere to a number of conditions to receive a license and are subject to regular inspections by the government.
In addition to these layers of regulation, there are further measures in place that serve to protect players and operators alike. These include advertising restrictions, responsible gaming measures, and penalties for violators.
As mentioned above, to operate in the Finnish gambling market, companies that run online casinos must first hold a license from the state. To obtain a license, operators must comply with a number of conditions as set out in the gambling act. These conditions can be broadly divided into two categories: regulatory and operational.
The regulatory conditions aim to ensure that operators responsibly conduct their business and adhere to specific ethical standards. In addition to complying with these conditions, operators must also pay a licensing fee and submit to regular inspections by the government.
To confirm that you are 18 years old or older and that your place of residence is valid when you wish to play any online gambling games, you’re required to provide identifying information. In fact, as of 2021, players using slot machines in public areas need to provide identification.
Veikkaus Oy has made registration mandatory in order to verify gamblers’ identities. One of the regulator’s reform goals is to extend the identification requirement to all of its gaming titles.
Other than that, any business that provides space for slot machines, such as kiosks and shops, is mandated to ensure compliance with the age limit. Legal consequences may follow as a result of neglecting compliance with the age restriction.
The Finnish gambling act places a number of restrictions on the advertising of gambling services. Most notably, operators are not allowed to advertise their services in a way that targets minors or gives an unfair advantage to any one company.
Veikkaus Oy may market a company and its gaming activities but only if this is done responsibly, provided that demand for gambling services is provided by Veikkaus Oy under the Lotteries Act and is directed to such services.
Responsible Gaming Measures
Gambling addiction is viewed as a severe problem in Finland. As such, there are several measures in place designed to protect vulnerable players from harming themselves due to excessive gambling habits. Indeed, with these measures in place, operators must take measures to prevent minors from gambling and maintain a responsible gaming policy.