The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has expressed its approval of Finland’s initiative to introduce a regulatory framework for online gambling. Initiated by the Ministry of the Interior, the plan is to dissolve the longstanding monopoly held by the state’s gambling operator, Veikkaus, and implement a licensing procedure.
This legislative shift aims to better channel gambling activities, addressing concerns about Finnish players opting for unregulated offshore platforms. While Veikkaus supports the transition, it also anticipates the closure of several gambling outlets, leading to the potential layoff of approximately 240 employees.
EGBA’s Secretary General, Maarten Haijer, remarked, “Finland’s move towards a more inclusive licensing system is a significant and timely stride in gambling reform. This multi-licensing approach will empower Finnish consumers with more choices, level the playing field for operators, and enhance the country’s oversight of its online gambling sector.”
He further added, “With Finland’s legislative evolution, every EU member state will now have an online gambling licensing framework. We’re keen to maintain open communication with the Finnish authorities and local participants as these regulatory changes progress.”
The EGBA believes that a licensed gambling environment will heighten player protection, boost tax revenue, and foster equitable competition. While the nation will witness a partial liberalization of its gambling sector, Veikkaus will retain its exclusive rights over lottery and retail gaming. Online betting and gaming licenses will be the primary focus of the new scheme.
Furthermore, the government has proposed the division of Veikkaus into distinct entities under a collective banner. This reverses the 2017 consolidation of Veikkaus sports betting with slot entity Raha-automaattiyhdistys and horse racing firm Fintoto. A comprehensive legislative proposal is slated for release by spring 2025.