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A license model is being introduced to Finland – are we giving up the gambling monopoly?


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A license model is being introduced to Finland - are we giving up the gambling monopoly?

The time for miracles is not over. A week ago, Veikkaus proposed for the first time to give up its monopoly position. This would mean that there would be some kind of license system in Finland as well. This would mean that online casinos could in the future apply for a license to run a casino online from the Finnish authorities.

The money flowed abroad

In Finland, it has been observed for a long time that the euros used for gambling flow through the Internet to foreign companies, despite the monopoly in Finland. Changes have been planned to the Lottery Act in recent years as well, with the aim of preventing gambling money flowing abroad. However, the Internet is global, so it is very difficult to prevent the operation of a legally operating online casino, even by states.

Monopoly status in Finland is justified by the fact that it prevents problems related to gambling. However, when a large part of the gaming takes place on foreign sites, the existence of a monopoly position can be questioned more loudly every year. This has probably been awakened in Finland now, and a bigger change is needed in the field than in decades.

Lessons are learned from abroad

There are different license models and even the systems in the Nordic countries differ from each other. Until now, Finland’s system has been the closest to the Norwegian model, but now a change is being planned. In Finland, we will definitely learn from the license models of other countries and try to draw the best aspects of them for use in Finland.

Of course, the most important thing for Finnish taxpayers is that as much of the money as possible remains in running the Finnish welfare society. A possible new model may make it possible to collect tax money in Finland from casino operators who have not paid taxes to Finland until now. It is also very likely that you would have to pay something to the Finnish authorities for the license alone. In many countries, you have to pay almost 100,000 euros just to apply for a license, even if the application doesn’t even go through. Such a payment is, of course, primarily aimed at separating the wheat from the chaff.

All gambling falls under the same regulation

Until now, casino operators operating from abroad have not been subject to the same regulations as our domestic monopoly company. In the future, all companies would be on the same page, so to speak, and everyone would be subject to the same rules, laws and obligations. It has been estimated that already more than half of Finns’ gambling online takes place on sites that run their operations from abroad.

In Finland, eyes have been turned above all to the Swedish model, where the license system was introduced. In Sweden, the results have generally been promising. So in Sweden, gaming companies have to apply for a business license and also pay taxes to the country. Thanks to the system, more than 90 percent of online gambling has been channeled into the system used by the country.

All in all, however, the opening of the discussion about the license system is very surprising in Finland. For example, in recent years, efforts have been made to hold on to the monopoly position, and even the Lottery Act has planned changes in this regard even in recent years. However, it is worth noting that we have only now seen some sort of opening of the discussion and there is still a long way to go before the system actually changes. Behind the scenes, however, the discussion goes on longer.

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