Finnish government sets out pathway to regulated gambling market


Finland’s government aims to launch a regulated gambling market by 2026.

Finland.- The Ministry of the Interior has launched a project to create and guide a pathway for the opening of the Finnish gambling market. The government intends to open a regulated gambling market by 2026, ending the current monopoly system.

At the moment, state-owned Veikkaus is the only operator offering regulated gambling in Finland. However, the government plans to introduce a licensing system for private operators. The Ministry of the Interior has created a political steering group and an intersectoral working group comprising key ministries and authorities.

The ministry plans to draw up legislative proposals, including details of the types of gambling to be allowed, licence fees, taxation and responsible gambling tools. It will also draft rules on gambling marketing. It intends to submit a proposal to parliament in spring 2025.

A spokesperson said the aim of the reform is to prevent and reduce gambling harm and to improve the channelisation rate to regulated gambling.

They added: “The aim is to strengthen supervision of the gambling industry when entering the licence system. The preparation will take into account the social impacts of the licence system, especially the impacts on gambling-related harm.”

Veikkaus has said it is “strategically prepared” for the change but expects to close gambling arcades and lay off around 240 staff. The government plans to split Veikkaus into separate companies that will operate within a group, reversing the 2017 merger of the Veikkaus sports betting operation with slot operator Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse race betting operator Fintoto.

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