Finland: Gambling laws and regulations in 2021
Gambling enthusiasts in Finland have more reasons to rejoice as compared to more conservative parts of the world. Finland is known to have one of the most liberal approaches to gambling regulation. To a certain extent, traditional land-based casinos are still regulated by appointed governing bodies. However, it still primarily allows casino operators to thrive within the industry and propagate a more kinetic local economy. When it comes to online casino operators, it gets a lot easier as there aren’t as many regulations or laws that govern online betting.
The gambling industry in Finland is so lucrative that it has now secured one of the spots in the world’s top ten largest gambling nations. This is due in large part to the government’s lenient approach to regulating legitimate casino platforms, especially in the virtual realms. Online casinos, or nettikasino in Finnish, are sprouting up left and right within Finland. This means that the market is growing a lot more competitive, which translates to better services for the consumers. These online casino operators are also growing more aggressive when it comes to increasing their market share by coming out with innovative games and hard-to-resist bonuses that lure people onto their sites.
However, that doesn’t mean that setting up any kind of casino platform in Finland is all too easy or convenient. There are still a number of laws, requirements, and regulations that players in the industry will need to take note of. This means that it can be difficult for foreign operators and even gambling tourists to actually experience the gambling environment in Finland.
All in all, Finland has a state-controlled monopoly when it comes to regulating virtual and land-based gambling. Because of the Finnish Lotteries Act, the state-owned operator Veikkaus Oy, or Veikkaus for short, is solely responsible for overseeing activities that pertain to sports betting, instant-win games (like slot machines, and national lotteries. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of Veikkaus to ensure that all of these betting and gambling activities are done as responsibly and as safely as possible.
Veikkaus is also responsible for the propagation of thousands of jobs within the gambling industry for the Finnish workforce. It was estimated by the World Financial Review that the Finnish gambling industry would grow by as much as 10% from 2020 to 2021. There are no hardline statistics that show just how much money is being spent on gambling in Finland every year as the data surrounding this is complex and can be difficult to come by. However, it’s a fair assumption to make that the Finnish people are spending considerable sums of money on gambling each and every year.
Moreover, since the gambling operators in Finland are state-owned, this means that its revenues are used to fund social services for the Finnish people. In particular, revenues from the gambling industry are used to fund sporting events, cultural events, youth development programs, healthcare, and social welfare to name a few. It’s estimated that around 700,000 unique gamblers visit legal online gambling sites in Finland on a weekly basis. Another interesting statistic to note is that 40% of the gambling industry in Finland is now being conducted online. This just shows the shift in the consumer behavior that’s trending towards virtual services as opposed to traditional land-based casinos.
When it comes to taxation, Finnish people are entitled to keeping all of their earnings. All of the winnings that a gambler accumulates in Finland are 100% tax-free. Aside from that, many online gambling operators in Finland are also making efforts to stay up to date when it comes to their payment methods. Currently, there is a gradual shift towards the use of cryptos or digital currencies for online transactions. However, for the most part, e-wallets and online payment portals are still the go-to options for many online gamblers in Finland.
Even though the country is not particularly welcoming to foreign investors and operators with regards to its gambling laws, it’s still very much a liberal state when it comes to allowing for local play. Finnish gamblers have free access to as many gambling portals as any other country. This kind of liberal approach to gambling regulation will only allow for the further propagation of the industry in an already potent market.