In Finland, gambling is regulated by the Lotteries Act. The country’s government merged its only three gambling licensees at the start of 2017. Casino operator RAY, lottery Veikkaus and horse betting (mainly harness racing) provider Fintoto have joined together to form a larger state gambling monopoly under the name Veikkaus.
Veikkaus operates Casino Helsinki, the only fully operational casino in Finland.
The gambling monopoly was hit hard by multiple temporary forced closures of gaming machines in 2020 and 2021 as the country looked to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In response, Finland’s government had to allocate an additional €347m to social, healthcare and sports causes in 2020 to help make up the shortfall in funding typically provided by Veikkaus.
Deposit limits and strict player verification rules, such as its mandatory ID program for slot machines, have been introduced over the past few years to address growing public concerns with disordered and underage gambling. A study in 2020 by the Taloustutkimus research firm found problem gambling rates in the country at a three year low.
A maximum daily loss limit for fast-rhythm games played in Veikkaus' electronic gaming service was set at €500 until the end of 2020. The maximum monthly loss limit returned to €2,000 on October 1, 2020. However, all players must still set daily and monthly loss limits. Self-imposed limits cannot be higher than the maximum loss limits.
Following an invitation to tender in January 2016, more than 70 locations across Finland expressed interest in hosting the country’s second casino. Tampere was chosen, with an opening date in December 2021.
Other locations are eligible to apply for ‘Feel Vegas’ slot halls where table games may be played at lower limits. At the moment, the number of Feel Vegas concept locations is nine, of which five are either in or nearby the capital, Helsinki.
The largely autonomous Åland Islands region hosts two licensed operators, Paf and Veikkaus. Paf has a monopoly on entertainment and gaming operations, including casinos in Åland.
In its legislation, the Finnish government has traditionally put a great deal of emphasis on addiction prevention and player protection.
Following the reforms which came into effect in 2012, Finland stuck by its monopoly framework, considering gambling not to be a normal economic activity. The European Commission confirmed the compliance of Finland’s gambling laws with EU law in 2013.
Finland has put in place player protection measures such as maximum wagers, self-exclusion measures and restrictions to operating hours. Customers must be at least 18 years of age, and must be registered when they enter a venue.
A RAY customer programme introduced in Autumn 2012 makes it possible for the player to set limits to control how much time and money they want to spend gambling. So far 200,000 customers have already signed up.
Online Player Protection: Before playing online, the player’s name, social security number, age and address are checked by the Finnish gambling corporations.
To be allowed to play, customers must:
Be at least 18 years of age;
Have a Finnish bank account;
Have a Finnish social security number;
Have a permanent address in mainland Finland.
Finland forbids any free games or “play-money games” before players are registered, and customers are only allowed one account.
The information that players provide is then checked against the Population Information System (PIS), which provides up-to-date and real-time data from the National Public Register.
Self-exclusion measures and session timers are in place.
Games in which players play each other, including poker, have no daily cap, but there is a maximum limit of €5,000 on all gambling accounts and customers cannot put more funds into their account between 12am and 6am.
As part of the registration process for online gambling, players must set daily and monthly loss limits. These limits will apply to all types of online gambling at www.ray.fi.
There are maximum daily loss limits of €500 for both slot machine and table games.
Customer make apply for a personal self-exclusion at the Casino premises personally.
In current Finnish legislation it is not possible to apply an exclusion to anybody else for example a married partner or other family member.
Organization: Gambling hotline "Peluuri" offers support, information and consultation services on a helpline, the Internet and via sms.
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: Yes. However, smoking-permitted rooms are allowed. Nonetheless, gambling activities may not be offered in smoking-permitted rooms.
Terrestrial: Monopoly (State-owned)
Online: Monopoly (State-owned)
Terrestrial:Roulette, card and dice or other comparable games in which players can win money.
Online:Casino games (slot machines, roulette, etc.)
Size of Illegal Gambling Market:Illegal online casino, betting and poker €140 m. RAY's estimate based on: PAF figures, H2GC, Alexa.com, gambling researches, Veikkaus´s estimate of the market. Illegal offline market: approx. 0
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:There are advertising restrictions for unlicensed operators. Website blocking and payment blocking are not provided for.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 1,97,687
Internet Penetration (Internet Users):92.4%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 140%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):10
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019