There are many ways in which some governments or legal entities get involved in the industry of gambling, and they can be far out complex and sometimes confusing to the public. The irony being, a lot of the bodies that are responsible for the population and economy, are often responsible for running these services, and some countries have had a state-supported or at least partial-state supported gambling monopoly for as long as time itself and Finland is one of those examples. Finnish gambling guide NettiCasinoHEX.com gives more detailed information about state monopoly and useful information for Finnish gamblers.
Having said that, there a few players on the market that head the different options. Veikkaus Oy has a monopoly on the betting and lottery arenas, while RAY, which is Finland’s Association that heads up the arenas of slot machines has a monopoly on exactly that, and including EGMs and casino games including the online gaming options.
Fintoto, which is a separate and foreign (but permitted) state-regulated company, covers horse-race betting, and last but not the least, there is another entity called PAF which covers the autonomous realm of gambling through-out the Aland Province.
Besides these companies above, no other one is allowed to operate any gambling in Finland. And, out all of them, it is only Veikkaus Oy that is permitted to handle all the marketing efforts of its gambling services.
How does this all work and what does the future hold for this system? We shall look at all of this below so keep our hat on and continue reading to find out more.
Let’s Get Legal
The criteria involved for when any EU country permits a gambling monopoly is based on whether that decision is the best solution for the state when ensuring the best interest of the public in terms of its health, keeping order, and preventative measure of gambling addiction. This system also needs to be well supervised, be strict, and implemented efficiently.
In Finland’s case, it has had this monopoly in place for decades
Norway is possible the only other country that comes close to having a gambling monopoly like Finland’s and the rest of the EU countries have either a hybrid system (a mix of both license and monopoly) or a licensing system for gambling.
It is worth mentioning that entities such as Veikkaus have managed to create an efficient and popular system, which has now also become popular in other countries who see benefit from the state-directed monopoly and the fact that the Finnish are keen gamblers, may have something to do with it. A lot of the funding made from all the above company’s services goes to several good causes and although there are not as many physical venues (only 16 brick-and-mortar-buildings) for casinos in the region, there are a lot of online ones.
What Does the Future Hold?
Does anyone ever know what the future holds for them? … that’s a rhetoric question.
Finland officially remains an online gambling monopoly, and it also still has its online moving spaces that are in conjunction with the EU competition law. Unlike places like Sweden, who lifted their monopoly system at the beginning of 2019, Finland may not be able to completely abolish it, but they have paid heed to their changes and are looking into ways that can make some similar modifications but still retain its positive aspects such as the physical venues themselves, the funding that goes to the various charities and strong licenses.
Also, this system seems to keep those with gambling problems at a fairly low number. Statistics have shown that there are just over 120,000 people with this issue in Finland, and majority numbers are drawn to foreign online gambling casinos. Although every effort is being taken by the government to help these people and not let them suffer alone. Finland is a country that cares about its people and will not take this lying down.
If these online casinos can work hand in hand to also try and curb issues such as gambling addiction, we could see a new national model emerging that balances the needs of the people with responsibility and entertainment all at the same time, keeping a peaceful synergy amongst all parties. Its either that of the Finns will have to face illegal foreign gambling websites infiltrating the population’s boredom, one of the reasons why Sweden got rid of theirs.