October 27, 2023
Finland's Ministry of Interior has announced plans to introduce a licensing system for online gambling and betting, including online casino games and sports betting activities. If achieved, this plan will see the country move away from the state monopoly on gambling.
Representing the top European online gambling companies, EGBA (European Gaming and Betting Association) regards this announcement as a significant step forward in correcting the flaws in Finland's antiquated online gambling monopoly framework.
Recently, the Ministry of Interior announced a legislative project to reform the gambling system. The goal is to create draft legislation to reform the gaming industry.
The new proposal intends to address the following gambling activities:
The project will run until December 31, 2025, culminating in a legislative proposal in the spring of 2025.
Finland is the only European Union member state that maintains a complete monopoly over all forms of online gambling. But as more Finnish gamblers are switching to foreign gambling sites that provide them with more gaming options and better sports betting odds than the monopoly, the efficacy of this system has come under public scrutiny.
Consequently, Finland has experienced a decline in its taxable income from online gambling. The Government says this results from more Finnish players using unlicensed betting sites.
EGBA welcomes the creation of a well-regulated multi-licensing system and fully supports the goals set forth by the Finnish Government. By creating a level playing field for operators concerning compliance requirements, this system will improve player protection, boost tax revenues, and make it easier to oversee Finland's online gambling market effectively.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA, said:
"This is a welcome step towards meaningful and overdue gambling reform in Finland. The introduction of multi-licensing would provide greater choice and safeguards to Finnish consumers, ensure fairer competition between operators, and enable the Finnish authorities to have greater control over their online gambling market.
"With these changes of the Finnish legislation, all member states of the EU will now have some form of licensing regime for online gambling. We look forward to continuing dialogue with the Finnish Government and local stakeholders as the regulatory discussions develop."
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