July 3, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Finland Wants to See Gambling Licensing System Up in 2027

Finland plans to see its proposed open gambling licensing system up and running at the start of 2027

In February, the gambling industry in Europe applauded Finnish monopoly Veikkaus’ support toward an open licensing system that would fight off illegal practices in the market. 

At the same time, the industry feared its support for a cooling-off period similar to the one that rocked potential entrants to the Dutch market.

Today, Finland’s government tabled the bill that would set up the open gambling licensing system and offered January 1, 2027, as a potential date for the launch

Acknowledging Reality 

The state-owned operator’s interest in a licensing system came naturally, as a means of acknowledging the country’s reality where the online gambling market‘s share had dropped to 40%

Accordingly, in June 2023, the Finnish government announced its commitment to open up the monopoly-based market for gamblers in an attempt to fight against the ongoing problem gambling issue and the lingering low channelization rates. 

A group led by the Ministry of Interior was responsible for writing the legislation, with directions from a political steering group made of a few state secretaries.

Veikkaus’ activities, which are exclusive and competitive, will be operated by two distinct companies held by the group.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, this would help in case Finland decides to sell off part of its stake.

The system proposed by Veikkaus wants to retain its monopoly over brick-and-mortar casinos, lotteries, physical slot machines, pool, and totalisator betting.

Private licensed operators would be allowed to provide iGaming and sports betting. 

Software suppliers would be the only ones allowed to obtain business-to-business licenses.

Draft Law Counting 417 Pages

The draft law counts no less than 417 pages and includes Know Your Customer provisions that explain the way players would be allowed to sign up and verify their identity and home address.

The same legislation detailed the way licensed operators will be allowed to advertise using different channels faced predefined restrictions.

Commercial collaboration with social media influencers will be forbidden.

The minimum age for gambling outlined in the draft is set to 18. The law also speaks about a centralized self-exclusion system.

Plus, marketing will be required to be “moderate” in visibility, scope, repetitiveness, and volume.

Outdoor marketing for games considered “high-risk” would be banned. 

New Supervisory Agency in Plan 

Regulation would be under the control of a proposed Finnish Supervisory Agency that would operate in the Ministry of Finance’s administrative branch. 

The new agency, which would remove the National Police Board’s current regulatory authority, would fight off illegal activities with administrative sanctions, make test purchases, cancel licenses, and decide upon and impose penalties, among others. 

The ministry wants to see the proposed law draft reach parliament in the spring session of 2025.

If given the green light, the new system would be implemented in a staged rollout. 

License applications would be open by the start of 2026, which would allow Veikkaus to preserve its monopoly until the end of that year. 

Licensed gambling operators would launch their offerings by the start of 2027.

Business-to-business license applications would become available from the beginning of the same year while the supplier licensing framework would go into effect in 2028.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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