The Interior Ministry of Finland has commissioned a report that delves into the future of online gambling, and the findings highlight the need for regulatory changes to optimize the current state monopoly system. The report puts forth the recommendation of transitioning to a licensing system to address the existing challenges.
According to the report, the current state monopoly system incurs a substantial loss of approximately €500-550 million ($549-603.9 million) in tax revenue each year. This is primarily due to nearly half of online gamblers opting for games outside the state monopoly system. Moreover, concerns related to gaming addiction become more intricate to tackle under this framework.
As per the report’s findings, adopting a licensing system could potentially improve the “channeling rate” of online gambling, leading to higher tax revenue and better regulation of the industry. Such a system would allow for a more controlled and regulated online gambling market, reducing the prevalence of unlicensed operators and channeling more players towards licensed operators.
The proposed shift to a licensing system would require thorough regulatory changes, including the establishment of clear licensing criteria, robust monitoring mechanisms, and measures to address gaming addiction. It would also aim to enhance player protection measures, such as responsible gambling tools, age verification, and anti-money laundering measures, to ensure a safe and secure gambling environment for consumers.
Overall, the report highlights the need for regulatory reforms in Finland’s online gambling sector, and the transition to a licensing system is being considered as a potential solution to address the current challenges and optimize the channeling rate for online gambling within a regulated framework.
In an effort to support political decision-making and future government policies, the report examining Finland’s national gambling system has analyzed the gambling systems of other countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and France. Norway shares a similar gambling monopoly system with Finland, while the other countries have adopted a licensing system for online gambling.
To achieve a higher “channeling rate” in online gambling, the report has presented two options: imposing new restrictions to prevent gambling outside the state monopoly, or transitioning to a licensing system. Arguments from other countries have favored the latter option, citing that a licensing system has been more effective in improving the channeling rate.
Currently, Finland’s gambling games are operated by a state-owned company called Veikkaus, and its revenue is utilized for the benefit of Finnish society through various ministries. If a licensing system is adopted, one possibility could be to create a sister company owned by Veikkaus or directly by the state, as suggested by the report. This approach would require careful consideration of regulatory and operational changes to ensure effective implementation of the licensing system and address concerns related to responsible gambling, player protection, and revenue distribution.
The report’s analysis of different national gambling systems and the recommendation to explore a licensing system reflects Finland’s efforts to adapt and improve its online gambling regulations, taking into account experiences and best practices from other countries. Ultimately, any decision on the future of Finland’s online gambling system will require thorough evaluation, stakeholder consultation, and effective implementation to achieve the desired outcomes.