Finland legislative project for gambling system reform begins

24 October 2023
(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Ministry of the Interior has set up a legislative project on the reform of the gambling system. The project will prepare for the introduction of a license system for gambling in accordance with the Government Program.
According to the Government Program, the gambling license system will, as a rule, cover online casino games and online betting. State-owned Veikkaus Ltd currently has the exclusive right to offer gambling in Finland.
The aim of the reform is to prevent and reduce the harm resulting from gambling and to improve the channeling rate of the gambling system in accordance with the Government Program. The channeling rate describes the proportion of gambling stakes placed with regulated providers that hold a local license.
The current state of the gambling system and alternative models were investigated in a preliminary study completed on 17 April 2023. The purpose of the preliminary study was to provide information to support the government formation talks.
According to the rapporteurs, gambling outside the monopoly system has increased and causes significant gambling-related harm. The rapporteurs presented two options for developing the gambling system: strengthening the current gambling monopoly system or switching to a license model for online casino games and online betting.
Towards effective control
The project will draw up the necessary legislative proposals for the reform of the gambling system, such as the games covered by the license system, the license fees and taxation, gambling management tools and other prevention of gambling-related harm, as well as the control and marketing of gambling activities. According to the Government Program, the monopoly activities remaining with Veikkaus and the activities in the competitive market will be separated into different companies within the same group.
The project will also investigate the transfer of game machines to separate controlled areas in accordance with the Government Program.
The aim is to strengthen supervision of the gambling industry when entering the license system. The preparation will take into account the social impacts of the license system, especially the impacts on gambling-related harm. A political steering group and an intersectoral working group including key ministries and authorities have been set up for the project. In addition, experts from different sectors will be extensively consulted.
The project will run until 31 December 2025. The aim is to submit a government proposal on the reform to Parliament in the spring of 2025.