Gambling is legal in Finland.
May 12, 2021
The way gambling is handled in Finland differs from the cases in many other countries. Instead of passing laws on game management companies, the Finnish government has a state monopoly on industry, and anyone who wants to operate must deal with the government.
This has been the case for decades, and before World War II the government exercised full influence. Although the European Union has called this approach protectionist, the situation continues.
Slot machines first appeared in the United States in the 1920s. The government was annoyed by the emergence of many private companies. They declared in 1933 that only charities were allowed to use slot machines.
The Slot Machine Association (RAY) was founded five years later. This was the country’s latest slot machine collaboration. The organization advocated responsible gaming, which is a concept of great interest to the Finnish government.
And there was a lottery.
The Finnish national lottery was led by Veikkaus Oy. The money raised by the lottery will now be used to fund sports, arts and science programs. Fintoto Oy, which offers parimutuel betting, was well-known among equestrian friends in Finland. Hippos Finland receives income from it. This is a government-run organization that helps horses. In 2017, the three bodies merged to form Veikkaus, which operates under the name Veikkaus.
The Baltic Sea province of Åland consists of about 6,500 islands. They are still managed by the Finnish government and have their own gambling body. PAF (Play among Friends) is a game first released in 1966. In the past, many organizations regulated gambling, but the PAF merged them into a single body.
Since 1999, this has also included the provision of online betting and casinos. However, in 2002, a law banning such practices made RAY the only official provider of online gambling in continental Europe.
It is the user’s turn
The size of the odds is important for gambling. People found that the chances of PAF were greater, so they started using them instead of Veikkaus. RAY was not satisfied with this development and was considering legal action. As the Finnish government did not want the two organizations to be in conflict, it decided to allow both Veikkaus and PAF to continue working.
The Finnish government has adopted a policy of advising citizens to gamble outside the country’s borders. However, since this is not a legal requirement, many people register with sites located in other countries.
The Lottery Act was passed in 2012. It sets strict guidelines for who is allowed to play legally. To play legally, you must be 18 years of age and players must confirm their identity.
Slot machine locations must be followed. Gambling ads are often subject to strict regulations. It cannot be sold to children under 18 years of age. Nor should it be described in an overly optimistic way.
According to the Finnish government, a state monopoly is the best way to control gambling. Related to this is the key issue of reducing gambling addiction. According to a study conducted by the Institute of Health and Welfare in 2019, 11% of the Finnish population participated in “high-risk gambling” in the previous year. This was a 4% decrease from the previous report in 2015.
The Finnish Ministry of Education uses gambling winnings to support a wide range of programs. Arts, science, sports and the promotion of sport, youth work, horse training and equestrian sports are all examples of this. The annual turnover is constantly over one billion euros.