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Finland Set for Crackdown on Remote Gambling Operators

- March 10, 2015 By Nemanja L. -

Finland to take more control over foreign gaming websites

Finland want to protect state owned companies with stricter rules for remote operators.

Finland’s leading gaming companies want the government to take a resolute action against remote gambling operators targeting Finnish gamers, according to the latest reports.

The country’s gaming industry is worth around €1.7 billion per year, with around €130 million of that amount wagered on foreign gambling websites.

However, it is believed that the number of Finnish gamblers placing their bets with remote gambling operators will continue to increase, and both the government and three leading domestic gambling firms want to see this trend ended.

RAY, Veikkaus and Fintoto Claim Unfair Treatment

The Nordic country has three state monopolies at the forefront of the gaming industry, with RAY, Veikkaus and Fintoto all required to promote responsible gambling and give away a significant portion of their profits to charitable organisations.

This is the reason why remote gambling operators can offer their customers more lucrative incentives for joining and are slowly increasing their revenues from the Scandinavian market, partly because of the lack of control over their operations.

At the moment, foreign gaming companies are forbidden from promoting their activities in the country, but they often find a way around the ban, and use social media, international media and other channels to target Finnish customers.

This has been the main reason why both Finnish and Swedish state operators have seen decrease in revenues in 2014, and this trend is widely expected to continue unless serious measures are taken to protect domestic companies.

Finnish Gamers Need Not Worry

Katriina Laitinen, The Ministry of Interior’s Legislative Affairs Director, has made it clear that the government is concerned by the impact of remote gaming operators, hinting that even the current gambling law might be changed unless the situation improves.

Gamers from Finland playing at foreign online casinos, online poker rooms or sports betting websites have no reason for concern though, with Katriina Laitinen saying in no uncertain terms that they are not committing any crime when they are gambling at these remote websites.

Any changes to the existing gambling law will only target gambling operators and not their customers, which is certainly great news for Finnish gamers.

And while Norway and Estonia have tried to address a similar problems by blocking the IP addresses of foreign gambling websites, Finland has no plans to do the same as they believe those measures can be easily circumvent by resourceful gamers.

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