Finland might not be the biggest online casino market in the EU, however, according to the data by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it has one of the highest per capita spending for gambling in the world. This makes it one of the markets to watch.
As the regulations get tighter across the old continent, Finland also presents an opportunity for many operators since its special treatment of online gaming makes it one of the few countries where gamblers enjoy a lot of choice, especially online.
Fins are in Top When it Comes to Expenditure on Gambling
All this makes it even more worthwhile to take a peek at what will be determining the trends on the Finnish gambling market in 2020.
As mentioned, the data shows each Fin spends more than 500 EUR every month on some form of gambling: be it slot machines, lottery, betting, esports or classic casino games.
For operators is very important to understand which actions by the regulators might change this behavior. Another important factor is the endogenous trends of the market itself – which type of games are becoming more popular and which ones are not.
When it comes to the regulation in Finland, it seems that the country will most likely stay put and avoid introducing wide and sweeping changes to their gambling law.
This as Germany plans for 2021 or as its neighbor Sweden has been doing in the last couple of years. This actually does seem like a good decision. It’s important to protect the players.
However, what both of the aforementioned countries are doing wrong is introducing very strict controls that are creating an even larger black market online.
If the companies where people want to play aren’t regulated by any EU authority, then the idea of consumer protection can be cast out of the window. Restrictive regulatory regimes create such counterproductive situations where players flock to black operators.
Changes in the Position of the Local Monopoly
In Finland, local regulation is geared toward controlling the local monopoly for the benefit of the society. The idea is to regulate Veikkaus and transfer the profits to the community.
Many NGOs become eligible for these funds and do good with it. This does not stop Fins from playing in other online casinos.
They mostly choose EU based companies, which, in most cases, are regulated by the MGA in Malta, which also has pretty strict controls on what operators can do or aren’t supposed to be doing.
One new change that will be introduced for 2020 is coming from Veikkaus itself. They plan to increase their responsibility measures and protect the public better.
This has come after a series of backslash in 2019 where it was discovered that even some advertising by the government monopoly wasn’t conforming to the laws of the country.
Veikkhaus plans to reduce the number of physical gambling machines across Finland by 3500 – a move which will cost their bottom line more than 50 million EUR.
This might have broad-based impact on the market for the fact that many people still use these machines in bars and other establishment. In some cases, it pays to crush the alcohol-gambling addiction loop.
On the other hand, this might also trigger more people to try to find substitutes online. In this case, as the casino website www.mrcasinova.com/fi predicts, online casinos stand to gain from the change.
Google searches for EU casinos in Finland have been steadily growing in the last couple of months, not just because of this. One benefit of the Finnish system is that online casinos based on Malta are exempt from taxes.
To clarify this, players do not have to pay taxes for their winnings. This is another reason Fins are looking to place their money in European casinos that offer comparable safety, but a wider selection of games and payment methods than Veikkaus.
When it comes to gaming, gamification casinos, as well as casinos that offer pay n play feature, are still one of the most important trends in Finland.
Live casinos that are taking off in other countries still do not seem to interest Fins that much, possibly due to their by now legendary introverted nature and quietness.