Veikkaus welcomes proposal to open Finland’s gambling market

Veikkaus welcomes proposal to open Finland’s gambling market

It wants the introduction of a licensed gambling market “faster rather than slowly”.

Finland.- The state-controlled monopoly gambling operator Veikkaus has welcomed a government study that has recommended against maintaining the current regime in the country. The study compared Finland’s gambling monopoly with the systems of other European markets and concluded that the current regime is “not a recommended option”.

The study warned that 50 per cent of gambling in Finland takes place on unlicensed sites. Comparing Finland’s system with those of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and France, the report put forward two alternatives.

One would be to follow Norway’s approach and give the national gambling regulator more power to prevent access to unlicensed gambling via blocking orders and advertising bans. The Norwegian regulator Lottstift has just been granted powers to block domain name servers of online casino operators from January 2024

The second option would be to follow the route adopted by most European countries and to open a competitive regulated gambling market by licensing operators other than Veikkaus. The report suggests that this would would “significantly improve” the channelisation to legal gambling.

The study warned that it was “very difficult to reliably assess the likely effects of the introduction of the license system on the prevalence of gambling problems” but noted that in research literature it found no difference in the amount of activity or prevalence of gambling harms between monopoly and licensed markets.

Veikkause response

Veikkaus has welcomed the study, saying that it is open to the idea of a licensed gambling market to improve channelisation rates.

CEO Olli Sarekoski said: “The report is good and balanced. It is important that the gaming margin outside the exclusive rights system is confirmed to be in the range of 500 – 550m, and thus in the category we presented based on H2 Gambling Capital’s information.

“If the system change is headed towards a licence system, from Veikkaus’ point of view, it is desirable that this change happens faster rather than slowly.”

The Finnish government has already expressed its support for ending Finland’s state-controlled gambling monopoly.

See also: Veikkaus sales slide in 2022

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gambling regulation Veikkaus