The Finnish casino industry has always been a healthy one, but now people are abandoning brick-and-mortar casinos in mass numbers.
Finland is home to 16 brick-and-mortar casinos and the gaming industry is widely popular and accepted – but a recent study shows more and more players are moving to online casinos.
For a tiny nation in a faraway corner of Europe, Finland is very excited about gambling. Finland spends over 2 billion Euros a year on gaming, which includes casinos, lottery and many other options. Here, the gambling industry is run by the government, under the office of Veukkaus Oy (government betting agency).
A whopping 53% of the revenues from the industry are directed to the Ministry of Education and Culture, with smaller amounts going to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The Current State of the Market
According to a report published by Veikkaus, Finns’ interest in digital gaming is growing rapidly. In early 2019, 42.9% of revenues came from online gambling venues – a growth of 200% from just a few years earlier.
Because the government controls both land and online casinos, this hasn’t affected the market. But there are growing concerns at the Veikkaus agency on what would happen if Finns start to focus on overseas online casinos more, taking the revenue away from the country. In 2018 alone, Finns spent over €286 million gambling on foreign online casino sites – a significant loss for the Finnish government.
How Things Are Changing
The Finnish government is currently working on law changes that might limit online gambling to local casinos. This could be done by only allowing gambling through exclusive platforms created by the Veikkaus agency and by putting restrictions on international money transfers to foreign gaming platforms. Some of these changes are already approved and will be implemented over the next two years, with more to come.
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