Fair Competition in Finland
The government’s goal is to promote fair and open competition. The opening of markets will continue in a determined and responsible manner. Conditions for the growth of domestic markets and the increase of Finnish well-being and freedom are being created. The benefit of better functioning competition comes especially to the consumer, to the Finns.
Finland’s new government is taking shape. Today, the government program and the distribution of ministers were published, and we were particularly interested in this part of the government program:
The government is reforming Finland‘s gambling system by opening it up to competition through a licensing model no later than January 1, 2026. The aim of the reform is to prevent and reduce health, financial, and social harms caused by gambling, as well as to improve the channeling rate of the gambling system. The licensing system would primarily include online casino games and online betting. The exclusive operation remaining with Veikkaus and the operation on the competitive market would be separated into different companies within the same group.
The current gambling policy has not been successful, as for some Finns, gambling is a significant problem. The market share of the monopoly system in digital gambling is close to the 50 percent limit, and companies operating outside the monopoly system in the digital gambling market receive their profits without license fees, taxes, or responsibility for the gambling problems caused by the operation.
As we move to a licensing system, the supervision of the gambling industry will be intensified, sufficient resources for supervision will be ensured, and money laundering and result manipulation will be effectively prevented, among other things. Sufficient resources for the prevention of gambling harms will be ensured in the public sector and the NGO sector.
The possibility of moving slot machines to separate supervised premises will be explored. It will be made possible for the consumer to obtain a gambling block from one platform to all licensed services and to ensure other necessary means of controlling gambling harms.
In the reform, the possibility to channel consumption to legal supply will be ensured, among other things, through marketing. Channeling will be implemented in such a way that marketing does not promote harmful gambling, and underage people are not directly targeted by gambling marketing. Marketing must be moderate and responsible in terms of its content, scope, visibility, and frequency. Personal marketing of games without the person’s explicit consent will be prohibited. The effects of the licensing model on Åland and the financing of Åland’s self-government will be ensured in cooperation with the Åland provincial government.
The introduction of the licensing model must be based on careful research into the societal impacts of the reform and especially its impacts on the prevalence of gambling harms.
So, this is in the new government program – whether this will be implemented according to the government program is then a matter that we will see over the next couple of years.