Finland Beats Problem Gambling says Report by THL

Recent study by THL shows a decrease in gamblers at risk as well as reduction of the gambling frequency for 2019 in Finland.

The Number of Gamblers at Risk in Finland Decreases

A recent study by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) announced that gamblers at risk in Finland are decreasing in number. The study involves data processed in 2019 among 4,000 Finns. THL has been monitoring the country’s gambling attitudes and problems since 2007. Every four years, such a study is conducted and the people participating are aged between 15 and 74. The study is conducted via a telephone interview.

The most recent study is showing a steady decrease of gamblers at risk. Numbers from 2015 show 15% of gamblers at risk, while the numbers from 2019 show a decrease to 11% for both men and women.

Problem Gambling in Finland

Problem gambling starts with at-risk gamblers. Over a period of time, some consumers begin experiencing gambling harms. Looking at the numbers from the study, some 3% of Finland’s population has experienced some type of gambling problems. Although the numbers from the study in 2007 are the same, translated into people, the 3% equals some 112,000 citizens. As per the study, in 2019 some 1.4% of the country population suffered the most seriously form of gambling which translates to some 52,000 people.

Looking at the positive side, the recent study shows that non-problematic gambling has increased. Although the number of players for 2015 and 2019 remain similar, changes are observed in terms of the gambling frequency. According to the study, the Finns gambled less often and less frequently.

Looking at the 2015 numbers for online gamblers, there is an increase of 12.7 points and numbers from 2019 show 36.3% of gamblers going online. Interest in foreign operators had also seen an increase from 3.3 to 5.4% of the users.

The report also indicates that in 2019, only 2.5% of the gamblers accounted for 50% of the total spending for gambling. Veikkaus Oy’s games hold 83.6% of the online gambling expenditure, while the remaining operators cover the rest 16.4%.

THL Senior Researcher Anne Salonen commented on the subject: “Only a relatively few people gamble games offered by operators other than Veikkaus, when compared to the number of those gambling Veikkaus games. Then again, there is big money involved in foreign online games. Therefore, it is now important to monitor how the closing of the Finnish slot machines due to the coronavirus epidemic affects online gambling.

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