All countries in the world look at casinos differently. Some do not want them in their jurisdictions, some allow them but under strict rules while others like the United Kingdom welcome them with open arms. Finland is different because, besides Finnish people loving their casinos, the industry is controlled by the government. How does this work given that international casinos still operate in Finland under various European laws?
The Finnish government says that it collects about 3.2 billion Euros every year from the state monopoly that controls gambling. The way the government makes sure that gambling does not have adverse effects is by ensuring that they limit stakes and they direct all the proceedings from such activities towards charitable causes. This ensures that gambling has a much more constructive effect in Finland than it does in many other countries and may explain why Finnish people love it.
Online Gaming Meets the Real World
Finland is also different in that there are very few physical casinos in the country. One of the companies that helps the government-run the gambling industry, Veikkaus, has just 16 locations in the country. This is a very small number compared to London, which has 24 locations, and the whole of the United Kingdom, which has 140 such locations.
Where the casino world thrives in Finland is online. Most of the companies that run online casinos in Finland are not based in the country. They operate under European Union Licenses alongside the companies that help the Finnish government. The one thing that all these online companies do, however, is they run their companies as if they were based in Finland.
For example, many of the Malta-based casinos that operate in Finland like Galaksino have Finnish websites and customer care centres. Because of this, Finnish people refer these casinos to as Finnish casinos even if they are not Finish by nature. These casinos also have Finnish people working in them and these people are tasked with creating Finish content and helping with marketing strategies and customer support.
Looking Into the Future
The one question that many people have is if these offshore casinos can continue operating alongside the state-led gambling sector or will the industry be deregulated and the monopoly on physical casinos lifted?
The main issue going forward is how the government can deregulate the industry while keeping everything as it is right now – revenues to good causes, reliable physical locations, and strong licenses. Can they do all this without some kind of prohibition or liberalisation?
Those who support online casinos think this can be done, although there is some worry about addiction. The way this can be controlled and curtailed is through legislation to help the people who become problematic gamblers.
According to a government report, there are over 100,000 Finnish gambling addicts. According to the same report, most of these people play at online casinos.
The government is aware of this problem and is actively working on a plan to help these people. The one area that would have a huge impact is regular people helping the government in its endeavours to help these people.
The one solution Finnish people can rely on is coming up with a model that allows online casinos and gaming companies to operate responsibly, continue entertaining players, and where anyone who is a problem gambler can get the help they need.
This Is a Model for Other Countries Too
Many countries have gambling problems. The proliferation of private gambling companies that operate under lax laws is the cause of this. Finland already has a model that other countries can follow; having a state-led gaming sector that gives back while allowing offshore companies to operate under some laws.
Even if Finland’s model is not perfect, it can be a great starting point. Should Finland find a way of helping those who have problems with gambling addiction, it could be one step further in providing an even better model for other countries to follow.
Gambling and online casinos have massive benefits the world over even though they have their problems too. Finland has been able to leverage the good side of the gambling industry while allowing other players to operate in the country. This can be an excellent model for other countries to follow.