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Finland – Finland looks to strengthen gambling monopoly

By - 10 March 2014

The Finnish Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy has published a new set of initiatives to help reinforce the country’s monopoly on gambling and crackdown on illegal gambling in the country.

As part of the new directive, it will develop a digital monitoring group charged with preventing the operation of companies that breach the Finnish Lotteries Act, including illegal marketing on radio and television.

Methods of preventing financial transfers will not be proposed at this stage. The directive is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Committee said that the decision to piece together the new policies follow on the back of the European Commission’s view that it would not take action with regards to the legality of Finland’s gambling monopoly.

In November 2013, the European Commission concluded infringement proceedings against Finland over concerns of the cross-border provision and marketing of sports betting services. This saw the Finnish Lotteries Act changed twice and a statutory gambling market established.

The Commission said the new law constitutes a consistent and systematic pursuit of the objective sought by the establishment of a gambling monopoly in a Member State. In Finland, gambling activities are provided by the three operators licensed under the Lotteries Act: Fintoto Oy, RAY (Finland’s Slot Machine Association) and Veikkaus Oy. The position discussed at the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy was based on research carried out by the ministries responsible for gambling activities in Finland.

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