Finland’s gaming industry is a huge contributor to the economy, both in revenue and taxes. Finland has one of the most developed iGaming markets in Europe, with average market size of €2 billion per year. The Finnish government receives about 10% of this income from gambling taxes which have led to looser regulations on gambling over time. In 2012 alone, Finns spent €376 million on domestic gaming companies such as NordicBet and Veikkaus; €171 million on games operated by RAY; and just €12 million on games operated by Fintoto.
A relatively new market
Finland’s iGaming industry is a relatively new market with just €12 million on games operated by Fintoto.
In 2012 alone Finns spent €376 million on domestic gaming companies such as Nordicbet and Veikkaus; €171 million on games operated by RAY; and just €12 million on games operated by Fintoto.
The Finnish government receives about $11 billion from gambling taxes which have led to looser regulations over time. In 2012 Finland contributed only a little more than 0% of industry revenue for EuroVision Interactive Gaming-related activities within Finland, but it is still an important player in European countries that are part of the NORDIC iGAMING MARKET.
Most liberal iGaming laws in Europe
Finland has one of the most liberal gambling laws in Europe and gaming operators’ profit was €141 million, which translates to about $159 million USD.
There are only a few requirements to be in the gambling business. The first is that anyone who wants to open and operate an iGaming company must have been running their own company for at least five years before applying. Second, all applicants require approval from Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health or local authorities as well as any other necessary permits and thirdly, they cannot serve players under 18 years old because it would violate Finnish law prohibiting advertising aimed at children.
The iGaming industry in Finland has contributed €11 billion annually into government coffers ($12billion USD) – about 14% of total tax revenue. This money funds healthcare insurance programs such
Gambling licenses in Finland are granted by Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health or local authorities.
In fact, out of countries with regulated iGaming markets, Finland is ranked as first for ease-of-entry and third on gaming taxes.
This means that any company looking to do business legally in the country can apply after they have been active.
The Finnish government also grants licenses based on a “first-come, first-served” basis which means that companies are encouraged to get their applications filed early if they want an opportunity at securing a license because two more slots will be available soon.
In order to run games of chance within Finland: First, you need to apply for a license, then set up a company and get it registered, and finally, you need to have at least €30 million in the bank.
The Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs also sets limits on how much companies can take from players as well as what games they can offer. See here for a list of Casinos in Finland.
This means that some countries like Finland are strict about who gets licensed and when they open their doors.
There is no limit on the number of casinos or gaming machines allowed per operator but operators must report monthly data such as turnover in order for authorities to keep track of business activities.
The regulatory issues that have been imposed upon Finland by other countries in regards to their online gambling sector are not yet a concern because Finland does not allow offshore operators into its market – meaning they must be based locally. The biggest issue facing the country may come when European Union regulations kick in later next year with some form of regulation expected at that time due to international trade rules.
In Finland gambling is only legal and regulated when the operator has a state-issued license, but it still remains illegal for operators from other countries to offer their services in Finland.
Finland’s iGaming industry is an important part of their economy, bringing in €200 million annually and employing around 600 people.
The Finnish government has loosened its regulations to the industry in recent years but still holds it tight when they come to international trade rules – even if Finland’s iGaming market is worth at least $200 million annually or as much as half of all gambling taxes collected that year.
Technological advancements have been made that can help improve consumer protection with online gaming – such as by preventing identity theft or fraud (i.e: authentication). However, progress on this front has largely stalled since 2011 due to some regulatory considerations around personal data protection.