State-owned gambling company Veikkaus said in its interim report that it was ready to give up its monopoly position in Finland in the hope that the government would open up the market to private betting companies.
In an interview with Ylen Ykkösaamu on Wednesday, Veikkaus Deputy General Manager Velipekka Nummikoski pointed out that Finland’s gambling regulations only apply to Veikkaus, while foreign gambling companies are allowed to operate without apparent surveillance.
“Our competitors are not subject to Finnish regulations and their license would change. Then everyone would work with the same rules of the game.
Nummikoski said it is important for the market to be competitive but for all operators to be on a level playing field as well. Currently, foreign iGaming companies do not pay taxes to Finland and have no obligation to comply with Finnish gambling regulations.
The Finnish online gambling market was worth around €520 million in the first six months of 2022, with Veikkaus’ share of this figure estimated at €260 million. According to Veikkaus’ interim report, 50% of all money wagered online in Finland goes directly to foreign companies that are not regulated by the Finnish government.
“In Finland, we officially have a system of exclusive rights, but if we look at digital games, Veikkaus’ market share is only half. You can already ask if we really still have an exclusive system.
He then cited the Swedish example of a licensed market before explaining:
“The channeling has reached 90% there, which was the objective of the system. And this is the most important measure of whether the system has succeeded or not. It is not worth creating such a licensing system, which is not able to channel the game itself. The regulation must be drawn up at its level.
Nummikoski thinks Finland would be an attractive option for foreign game companies if the market was opened up and a licensing system was introduced.
“The fact that we are currently offering games to Finnish customers shows that we are an attractive market. We would certainly bring a significant number of good operators to Finland.