The online g a mbling industry in Finland is thriving. Despite the COVID-19 lockdowns and its effect, online gambling is booming. Gambling is extremely popular in Finland among the population.

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A large number of Fin ns love gambling. Every yea r Finns spend an average of £350 on domestic gambling. The growth rate of the online gambling industry in Finland is approximately 10% per annum since 2016.

It is difficult to calculate how much Finns spend on online gambling because many of the popular prefer to use for ei gn sites to play. However, from the available data, the pattern is clear, online gambling is a thriving industry.

Land-Based Casinos vs Online Casinos in Finland

There are only a handful of land-b a sed casinos in Finland (16 in number). From th ese numbers, one could be tempted to think that Finns do not gamble as much as the various stats show. This stat alone cannot be used to gauge the gambling appetite of Finns.

The m ajority of Finns do their gambling online . Online gambling is responsible for most of the growth in the Finish gambling industry. T he average spending of Finns in a year on casinos is around EUR 2 billion.

Online gambling is the dominant player in the online gambling industry in Finland. Many of the 5.5 million people living in Finland prefer online gambling to land-based casinos for various reasons.

One reason is that land-based casinos are few and not enough to serve this gambling loving population. Also, it is not readily accessible on demand. Online casinos can accommodate the population and it is readily accessible, you can play it anywhere and at any time.

Nature of The Finnish Online Gambling Industry

The gambling industry in Finland operates differently from what is attainable in many countries. Government interference is a strong characteristic of the industry. The Finnish government runs Veikkaus Oy, the top betting agency in Finland, and has a monopoly over the industry.

Veikkaus Oy is the outcome of the merging of the three betting agencies in 2017. The Finnish government has a state-monopoly over the gambling industry for development reasons. The profits made by this state-run gambling company is shared among some ministries in the states for projects and developments. These ministries include the Ministry of Education and Culture (eats the lion share of the profit), the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Healthy.

This policy as expected attracted kickbacks and distasteful opinions, but it did not stop the Finnish Online Gambling Industry from flourishing. Many Finns, won over by a sense of patriotism keep on gambling because they are comfortable, knowing the proceeds will go to government programs for the development of society.

The Finnish online gambling industry model is one to replicate in other nations. It has been so successful and beneficial for both parties. The government gets fundings for some of its ministries while players get an opportunity to win real money. And even when they do not win, they know that their money is going towards helping other Finnish people. It is a win-win for both parties, the model is worth emulating.

Thriving Market

Veikkaus ’ profit for 2019 was a huge EUR 1 009.0 million while its lottery tax totaled EUR 202.9 million. It made a gross revenue of EUR 1 690.7 million.

In 2018, Finns spent over EUR 286 million gambling on foreign casinos. This is a huge source of loss to the government. Attempts to reduce these huge numbers spent on foreign casinos have so far proved unproductive.

Veikkaus expect to lose about €300m in 2020 due to the effect of COVID-19. In the first half of 2020, the state-owned gambling company reported a 28.1% decline in gross revenue and a 33.6% drop in profit.

With the online gambling industry relatively calm especially the online betting industry thanks to the return of the major leagues to action, Veikkaus is expected to finish the last quarter with a strong position.

Finnish Online Gambling Industry Trend

The most notable online gambling trend in Finland is the increasing popularity it is amassing from Finns. The online market is the chief driver of gambling revenue in Finland. More and more people in Finland are gamble online today.

Government monopoly of the industry is another trend that is here to stay for the long haul. The reason why Finland can only boast of a mere 16 land-based casinos despite the enthusiasm of its population for gambling activities is because of government control.

The government controls the industry through its three agencies. Veikkhaus , already discussed, is in control of gambling and lotteries. Another agency RAY controls slot games while Fintoto Oy is responsible for horse races.

The restrictions put in place in Finland makes it difficult for private online gambling enterprises to operate in Finland. However, there is no law barring Finns from gambling in online casinos outside their territory.

Many online casinos are now aware of the rich potential of the online gambling market in Finland. These online casinos find subtle ways to attract players from Finland because of the limitation of advertising directly to Finns.

Another notable trend is the increasing commitment from the Finnish government to help tackle gambling addictions. This is a huge problem in Finland. The state provides support for addicts.

Surveys conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on 2,600 gamblers show the worsening problem of gambling in Finland.

Final Thoughts

The Finnish Online Gambling Industry  is robust and strong. Part of the reason for its strength and continuous growth is the rich gambling culture among Finns and the popularity of online gambling options.

Is the state government control of the industry helping or harming the industry? The panel is out on this question.