Despite its small population of 5,6 million and housing only two land-based casinos, Finland is the world’s fifth gambling economy. With the government owned Veikkaus granted the monopoly in Finland, the gaming industry is facing many obstacles as there is only one legal operator available at the moment. As such, many Finnish players have started to embrace foreign based online casinos. At the same time, the EU continues to address the country’s regulators, underlining that the current monopoly is a form of protectionism.
Kasinopartio: The Market Will Be Open in Few Years
Interestingly, Veikkaus reported in its Q3 2022 report that it is no longer able to compete with the growing number of international online casino operators. It now calls for reforms in the gambling landscape, which sees the casino market to open for offshore operators. The Finnish government is therefore expected to come with new regulations for the first time allowing offshore online casino operators to enter the Finnish gambling landscape. For example, a Finnish online casino site Kasinopartio.com is projecting that the opening of the Finnish casino market will be done within the next few years.
2023 Finnish Parliamentary Election
Parliamentary elections will be held in the Scandinavian country on the 2nd of April 2023 to members of parliament for the 2023-2027 term. Reforms of the gambling landscape seem inevitable with most parties in favour of adopting a licence system and thus potential opening of the online casino industry. The Left Alliance is the country’s only party opposing the gambling reforms. According to the preliminary polls, a right-wing government between the National Coalition Party and Finns Party is expected to win the elections. As most of the parties are in favour of the reform, it is not likely that the outcome of the parliamentary elections will affect the adoption of a new gambling law. After the formation of the new government, it will usually takes between 2 and 3 years for the regulation to come into effect. As per Kasinopartio, the regulation has been long waiting, which would mean the new government will tackle it straight after being formed.
With countries such as the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden having adopted and/or reformed their gambling landscapes in recent years, there is enough data that can be used by Finnish industry experts. Finland has announced its willingness to make use of best practices and learn the best lessons in other countries. It is now widely believed that Finland will turn its attention to Sweden and analyse which best practices could be used for the Finnish market. A survey conducted by Finnish opinion poll specialist Bilendi on behalf of the international operator Kasino Curt, has shown that more Finns (31%) support than oppose (27%) the idea of abolishing Finland’s monopoly and adopting a licence system. The interviews were conducted by Bilendi Oy’s nationwide consumer panel in the period from March 20 to 24, 2019. The error margin is set at ±3.1 percentage points.