Finland To Finish State Gambling Monopoly, Embrace iGaming by 2026

Along with joining NATO, Finland’s new centre-right coalition government has announced that one of its top priorities is to end the nation’s current gambling monopoly by 2026 and replace it with a multi-licence, fully regulated system.

Hitherto, Finland has only allowed a state-run monopoly called Veikkaus–formed from a 2017 merger of the Veikkaus football pools, slots operator Raha and horse racing totalizer Fintoto–to run in the country.

But now the aim is to break Veikkaus up into a number of verticals offering a wider range of online casino games, sports betting and wider iGaming.

Top priority of the impending gambling reform would be to tackle and ameliorate the potential negative financial and social impacts of irresponsible, unregulated, gaming.

According to government sources: “Our current gambling policy is just not working.”

It’s estimated that only around half of Finland’s regular gamblers–people who play at least once a month–use the so-called “White” market; the remainder accessing off-shore and technically illegal sites.

Tough Protocols

Strong measures to combat money-laundering and enhance sports integrity would also be enacted, with self-exclusion protocols built into all new registered platforms.

Marketing will be “moderate and responsible in its content scope, visibility and frequency.”

“The introduction of the licence model must be based on a careful investigation of the social effects of the reform and especially its effects on the prevalence of gambling problems,” the Finnish government stressed in a statement.

Finland’s nascent online gambling trade association, Rahapeliala, formed in December last year, has welcomed the government proposal.

“We are pleased to see how the government has recognised the need to renew our gambling system to the realities of today’s technology,” said Rahapeliala’s  Chief Executive Mika Kuismanen.

“This reform strengthens fair competition and protects the interests of society and players.

“ The reform of the gambling system is a great example of how structural changes can be implemented in an economically and socially responsible manner when there is enough courage.”

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