Finland’s Gambling Operator Veikkaus Ready to Give Up Monopoly

Finland’s Gambling Operator Veikkaus Ready to Give Up Monopoly

State-owned gambling company Veikkaus has stated in its interim report that it is ready to give up its monopoly position in Finland in the hopes that the government will open the market to privately-owned betting companies.

In an interview with Ylen Ykkösaamu on Wednesday, Veikkaus’ deputy CEO Velipekka Nummikoski pointed out that gambling regulation in Finland only applies to Veikkaus while foreign gambling companies are allowed to operate with no apparent oversight.

“Our competitors do not operate under Finnish regulations and their license would change. Then everyone would work with the same rules of the game.”

Nummikoski said that it is important that the market is competitive but that all operators are also on an equal footing. Currently, foreign iGaming companies pay no taxes to Finland and have no obligation to comply with Finnish gambling regulations.

Finland’s online gambling market was worth around €520 million in the first six months of 2022 whiole Veikkaus’ share of this figure was reported to be €260 million. According to Veikkaus’ interim report, 50% of all money wagered online in Finland goes directly to foreign companies that are unregulated by the Finnish government.

Nummikoski added:

“In Finland, we formally have an exclusive rights system, but if we look at digital gaming, Veikkaus’ market share is only half. You can already ask if we really have an exclusive system anymore.”

He then cited Sweden’s example of a licensed market before explaining:

“Channelization has reached 90 percent there, which was the goal of the system. And that is the most significant measure of whether the system has been successful or not. It is not worth creating such a license system, which is not capable of channeling gaming into itself. The regulation must be drawn up to its level.”

Nummikoski believes that Finland would be an attractive option for foreign gambling companies if the market were opened and a license system was introduced.

“The fact that we are currently offering games to Finnish customers shows that we are an attractive market. We would certainly get a significant number of good operators to Finland.”

Thomas Nielsen

Gambling industry journalist with a background in online poker and trading. Covering the regulated U.S Sports industry and the exciting world of online poker.

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