Just in the past few weeks, the Netherlands voted to let up some of the hefty regulatory burdens the country had been imposing on its casino operators. Similar sentiments surfaced in other European countries, only they were intended in the opposite direction. Switzerland chose to tighten its grip and remain the sole purveyor of social justice. Nevermind this, now Finland is in the grips of its own overhaul.
While no regulatory action has ensued, the Helskini Times has reported that over 400 Finns are now part of the vast gambling ecosystem of Malta, where companies usually choose to go because of tempting tax breaks.
Malta a Promised Land or a Silicon Valley
You can choose your own moniker for the small island country where tax breaks on the gambling industry are a godsend. As to Finland, the country is not openly endorsing the online casino industry, and yet it doesn’t curb gambling as it considers it to be a matter of a personal choice.
The number of operators who are catering to Finn gamers is steadily rising and so is the number of dedicated casinos. Two of the licensed operators, Veikkaus and Paf are fully licensed to extend their offers over to the online segment, which brings in new opportunities for growth and revenue.
The Possibility of a Gambling Epidemic?
Culturally, Finland is better prepared to handle its problem gambling well. First, there’s no real prohibition on the places where slot machine can be seen. In fact, they are part of the everyday life of Finns who often queue up to try their luck in a single spin, a behavior which also invites moderation.
And while the public remains overly Sober, one of the flagship operators in the country, Paf, may see its income reduced to the tune of 5%. Paf has announced a hard cap which will prevent any gamer from losing more than $35,000 a year.
The unprecedented measure hopes to introduce a gambling culture that will allow punters to be better aware of what they spend on the machines. Also, it’s one of the boldest steps to maintain social responsibility checks by an operator.
Across Europe, no other operator has so much as suggested that they may seek to limit the losses that their customers generate despite a solemn vow to do their best to prevent people from falling victim to destructive gambling practices.
All I See Is 32Red
Paf’s case contrasts well with that of British operator 32Red who had been encouraging a problem gamer to continue well after it had been established he was at a risk. All things brushed aside, the UKGC may stand a great opportunity to learn not from the active legislation in Finland, but rather from the responsibility checks that the country’s own operators impose.
Meanwhile, Malta will continue to have a strong pull for Finns who want to work in the casino industry, as the country continues to expand its online gambling business by attracting hundreds of companies which have a global reach.