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Finland to abolish its gambling monopoly by 2026

The newly elected Finnish government has stated that it will abolish the current gambling monopoly system and replace it with a license system “no later than 2026.” Finnish Gambling monopoly

The government stated that the goal of the reform is to stop gambling’s negative effects on society and the economy. A licensing structure would increase the nation’s channelization rate toward legitimate products and services.

This would effectively undo the 2017 merger of horse race betting firm Fintoto, slot machine maker Raha-automaattiyhdistys, and betting brand Veikkaus.

In a preliminary report on Finland’s gambling monopoly, the Finnish Ministry of the Interior has said ‘the exclusivity system of gambling has come to a crossroads.

The report concludes that preserving Finland’s current gaming regulation is not a recommended course of action. The amount of money wasted outside the exclusive system (the so-called gaming margin) is significant, according to the reporters’ estimation, likely between €500 and 550 million annually.

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“About half of all online gambling is therefore directed to games outside the system. Gambling outside the system also causes significant harm to gambling, the effective prevention of which when operating under the current system is challenging,” the report states

The study confirms that there are around half a billion euros in gaming margins outside of the exclusive system, emphasizes Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus. Playing in a market outside the system causes gambling harms that affect Finland. Finnish Gambling monopoly

The report is good and balanced. It is important that the amount of gaming margin outside the exclusive system is confirmed to be in the range of €500 to 550m, and thus also in the category we have presented based on data from H2 Gambling Capital. If the system change is directed towards the licensing system, it is desirable for Veikkaus that this change will take place faster rather than slowly.

Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus

The preliminary study indicates that a potential licensing scheme would, in theory, include online gambling and casino games. Slot machines, actual casinos, brick-and-mortar betting, scratch cards, lottery games regardless of channel, and other forms of betting would all fall within Veikkaus’ exclusive rights. Finnish Gambling monopoly

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