The Ministry of the Interior in Finland has announced a legislative project to reform the country’s gambling monopoly system by introducing a license system for online gambling, including casino games and betting activities. EGBA, representing Europe’s leading online gambling companies, has welcomed this announcement as a crucial milestone in addressing the shortcomings of Finland’s outdated monopoly framework for online gambling.
The legislative project aims to draft necessary proposals for the reformation of the gambling system. These proposals will cover various aspects, including the gambling activities to be included in the license system, license fees, taxation, safer gambling rules, prevention of gambling-related harm, and advertising regulation. The project will run until 31 December 2025 and aims to conclude with a legislative proposal in spring 2025.
Finland is the only EU member state still operating an exclusive monopoly regime for all online gambling activities. However, the effectiveness of this system has drawn increasing public scrutiny due to Finnish gamblers migrating to international websites that offer them greater choice and more competitive betting odds compared to the monopoly. As a result, Finland has faced a loss of significant taxable revenues from online gambling, diminished control over its online gambling market, and Finnish players utilising gambling websites that are not subject to Finnish laws.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of 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.”