Finland is one of the few countries which still has a gambling monopoly in place. However, the public opinion about the Finnish government owned Gambling company Veikkaus has been suffering some major loss of reputation amongst the Finns. Altough Veikkaus is a defunct company and donates all of its profits to the national charity organisations, there has been a lot of debate about is the money unethical for charities. A majority of the profits come from relatively poor social groups and the organization itself uses almost 50% of the money for running the operation.
The latest talking points have been the Finnish left-wing government law proposal to block payments for the foreign gambling companies. Payment blocking could be used in both ways, for deposits and withdrawals. However, there has been a lot of critism since the payment blocking can be bypassed by using e-wallets, such as Skrill and Neteller. Therefore it would not be an effective way to target payment blocking.
Critisms of Veikkaus
One of the biggest issues about the monopoly are their RTP, percentage return-to-player figure, and moreover, they do not offer any bonuses like the foreign competitors. Therefore, players will lose more money in the long run to the gambling monopoly compared to its Maltese competitors such as Rocket Casino and Pikakasino .
European Union has stated that the only reason why a country can have a gambling monopoly is if they can reduce the number of people with a gambling addiction. About 3% of the Finns have a gambling addiction, which is a far bigger number compared to Sweden (1,2%), even though Sweden do not have a monopoly. Thus it is widely believed the monopoly is agaisnt the EU laws and should be licenced to other foreign corporations as well.
Online gambling in Finland
Gambling in foreign iGaming companies is legal in Finland even though the law proposal of payment blocks would be accepted in the Parliament. According to Veikkaus, their market share in Finland is around 80%, but they claim that in the online gambling, the market share can be as low as 50%. Only 31.8% of the profits come from online games because of the massive popularity of foreign gambling companies. There are hundreds of different gambling companies for players to choose from.
One of the biggest trends in Finland are pay n play casinos, or as they say in Finland parhaat pikakasinot. Pay n play casinos are using a new technology where the customers do not need to register. Pay n play casinos or fast casinos use bank ID’s to identify a customer and at the same time it is a payment option. The trend is rapidly growing amogst the Finnish players since the withdrawals are instant.
Online gambling is rapidly growing due to Covid-19 pandemic because people have more spare time. However, the trend was increasing before the coronavirus, thus it is widely belived Veikkaus will lose market share in the future. Possible payment blocks are ineffective and the competition is growing so it might be a matter of time when the gambling markets will be open to licenced iGaming companies as in the neighbour country Sweden.