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Finland's gambling scenery is changing

 

October 28, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) The Finnish gaming monopoly, Veikkaus, has announced that it is ready to give up its monopoly. Veikkaus sees opportunities in the licensing model! What is going on here?

In a YLE interview, the Executive Vice President of Veikkaus, states that the Swedish licensing system works. It took a long time to get to this point, but finally Veikkaus has come to its senses.

The majority of gambling in the neighboring country Sweden currently takes place in casinos participating in the licensing system. The same system has long been the dream of casino professionals in Finland, because it would ultimately be in everyone's interest: for the player, the casino companies and the state.

For our Finnish readers: read more here.

Same rules for everyone

In the article, the Vice-President points out that at present, all gambling-related regulation in Finland applies only to Veikkaus. All foreign online casinos are outside the scope of that regulation, allowing them to operate without restrictions to a certain extent.

According to Veikkaus, these competitors do not operate within the Finnish regulatory framework, and the licensing system would then change this. If Finland had the licensing system familiar from Sweden, all companies would end up playing by the same rules.

This is an interesting way of putting it, because it gives the impression that foreign casinos somehow have better rules than Veikkaus, and that is not the case. The competitive situation has been - and still is - very unfair for foreign casinos: they cannot operate under the same rules as Veikkaus because the law does not allow them to do so.

Status of the digital gaming market

In the first half of this year, the Finnish digital gambling market amounted to €520 million, of which Veikkaus accounted for around €260 million. In practice, therefore, around half of the money spent by Finns on gambling is played by foreign gambling companies.

Veikkaus' Executive Vice President aptly asks whether Veikkaus' monopoly position can nowadays even be regarded as an exclusive system. It cannot.

Licensing systems in the rest of Europe

As you might already know, there are well-functioning licensing systems in many European countries. The Swedish model is the closest to Finland and should be used as an example. In Finland's neighboring country, gambling companies are required to have a license, which can be applied for separately. Each company that obtains it pays a gambling tax, which is currently 18%.

That tax is collected from the difference between the money spent on gambling and the winnings paid out. This has enabled the correct channeling of the money to 90%, which, according to Mr Nummikoski, was the original intention.

In the Yle interview he adds that there is no point in creating a license system that does not work. The fact that a licensing system can indeed channel gambling to itself is proof of its effectiveness. That is why the laws and regulations must also be at this level.

Will Finland be seen as a good market?

The current situation in Finland is not very attractive for casino companies as a vibrant and attractive market. This is purely because it is not possible for foreign casinos to register in Finland. They are also not allowed to market themselves at all in the local media. However, this does not prevent Finns from playing in foreign casinos, and they are allowed to play in them perfectly legally.

However, according to Nummikoski in the YLE interview, Finland could be an attractive area for foreign companies if the market were really opened up and a separate licensing system was created. In his view, Finland would attract a significant number of excellent operators.

What else would the licensing system bring?

There are still many things left unaddressed in the YLE story, but it is certainly an excellent opening. If Veikkaus itself is currently in favor of a licensing system, it is very likely that such a system will be adopted at government and parliamentary level. Not yet in this term of government, but perhaps already during the next term.

The article forgets the impact on employment and the creation of a new type of industry in Finland. It is of course true that in the future all foreign companies in the sector would continue to operate mainly outside Finland, which means that Finland would hardly ever become a casino center like Malta or Estonia - the tax system of Finland will see to that.

But, it is quite clear that it will be easier to recruit people from within our country in the future. People will no longer have to move to another country to work in casinos, and at the same time, for example, existing Finnish mobile games companies will be able to expand their offerings into casino games.

This Nordic country has a huge amount of expertise in game development and our team believes that Finns could bring new innovations to slot games.


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