The Finnish parliament (Suomen eduskunta) has authorized the country’s Lottery Act after the first reading, introducing stricter controls for offshore providers and new safeguards for the Veikkaus’ monopoly.
Recently introduced reforms involve the launch of payment blocking for any brand other than Veikkaus. It is followed by mandatory identification – earlier this year included for Veikkaus slots – and now it will apply to all gambling forms. The changes will enter into force until 2024.
Marketing regulation is also to be modified with the Lottery Act. The advertising of gambling titles considered especially harmful, such as slot machines, is also to be banned.
According to Finland’s Constitutional Committee, the payment blocking prescriptions are controversial and this part of the bill is unconstitutional.
At the same time, the Administrative Committee considers the bill should involve an inquiry regarding the “practically broken” monopoly system. The committee also proposed payment blocking to be limited for payments to operators, without applying it to player transactions. Another recommendation was redirecting Veikkaus’ contribution to the country into Finland’s budget pool.
After all these changes, the bill was accepted at first reading. The document now must be approved in the second reading before it can be forwarded to the country’s president and become law.
Secretary-general of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), Maarten Haijer criticized the bill. He was against payment blocking as a method to support Veikkaus’ monopoly.
Secretary-general of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), Maarten Haijer:
“The introduction of PSP blockings is an implicit admission that many of Finland’s gamblers prefer to bet on other websites rather than that of the state-run monopoly. There are many reasons why they do so: the availability of better betting odds, and better diversity and expertise in the products offered, are to name a few.”
He states that in the online world, users vote with their feet and that is the reason why they will continue to motivate the government to reconsider, rather than reinforce, the online gambling monopoly system in the country. Meanwhile, they will also advocate for the benefits of introducing a regulated, multi-licensing format for the online gambling industry in Finland.
About the Brand
Veikkaus is a national gaming company from Finland with 1,500 employees all over the country. Veikkaus Game Studio gathers creative and enthusiastic minds who are inspired by delivering an exciting and entertaining experience. Its team consists of hard-working Artists, Designers, Producers, Mathematicians, HW Developers, SW Developers, Researchers, and Analysts.
“Finnish parliament passes gambling reforms at first reading”, igamingbusiness.com, December 16, 2021.
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