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Finland – Report on ending Finland’s gambling monopoly receives support from Veikkaus

By - 19 April 2023

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

As a recommendation for action in the study, it is stated that maintaining the regulation of Finland’s current gambling system is not a recommended option. The report states that the amount of money lost outside the exclusive system (the so-called gaming margin) is considerable, according to the rapporteurs’ estimate, probably around €500 to 550m per year.

“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.

Olli Sarekoski, CEO of Veikkaus, emphasises that the study ensures that the volume of gaming margins outside the exclusive system is approximately half a billion euros annually. Playing in a market outside the system causes gambling harms that affect Finland.

Mr. Sarekoski said: “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.”

At the press conference of the preliminary study, alternatives to the gambling system were proposed to switch to a licensing system for online gambling or, alternatively, to strengthen the monopoly on the Norwegian model.

“It would probably be possible to achieve a higher channeling rate of online gambling in the licensing system,” the preliminary study states.

According to the preliminary study, a possible licensing system would, in principle, cover online casino games and online betting. Veikkaus’ exclusive rights would cover slot machines, physical casinos, brick-and-mortar betting and scratch cards, as well as lottery and lottery games regardless of the channel.

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