Will Finland Adopt Swedish Online Gambling Model?

Neighboring countries often tend to “steal” from each other, especially when it comes to legal matters.

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Neighboring countries often tend to “steal” from each other, especially when it comes to legal matters. Sweden and Finland may be rivals in many sports competitions but are definitely close friends when it comes to the economy. In fact, both countries are somewhat similar in terms of economic structure.
One of the problems that Sweden has managed to solve recently is regarding its gambling market. Before 2019, both countries were rather closed towards the idea of allowing private gambling operators. However, starting January 1, 2019, Sweden decided to change its gambling model a bit and open the market for private operators.

Sweden’s lawmakers realised that many unlicensed regulators have seized a huge part of the market. According to some analyses, 29% of the revenue in the $2.5-worth gambling industry in Sweden went to unlicensed casinos. It was only natural to end the country’s monopoly on gambling and allow operators to apply for Swedish licences.

Spelinspektionen, the official Swedish regulator, now has the ability to track down all unlicensed operators and ask them to apply for licences. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 100 companies received licences to operate in Sweden and offer their games to Swedish citizens.

Finland Is on the Move

Finland, which recently got the youngest-ever PM, is facing a similar issue. There are already many operators that offer services to the citizens of Finland and are directly competing with Finnish Veikkaus, the government-owned gambling agency that currently has the monopoly on the market in the Land of the Thousand Lakes.

Naturally, there are several things to take into account when considering whether to mimic Swedish actions or not.

The biggest disadvantage would probably be the overall lesser impact of Veikkaus on the market. The company that currently has the monopoly transfers all income from gambling to various other things, including charity, sports, and culture.

However, that’s pretty much the only con. On the other hand, there are numerous benefits, the biggest one being the amount of tax revenue that would start flowing into Finnish coffers.

Another big advantage would be a diverse market. Finnish players would have an opportunity to play thousands of casino games, such as the ones found on Nettikasinot. Therefore, they would be able to take gaming to another level and enjoy a wide variety of titles provided by various operators.

The thing is that Finns can already access these casinos as no laws actually forbid them to do it. In other words, unlicensed operators could continue to drain money from Finland without giving anything in return or they could become licensed and start paying taxes for their services. That way, everyone would benefit, just like in Sweden.

Once all things are taken into account, it’s safe to conclude that the country would be able to earn much more money by disabling Veikkaus’ monopoly and copying the Swedish model. There would be more money for culture, sports, and all other things financed by Veikkaus.