Finland is on the verge of making a total renovation of its iGaming field. They have been stalling for a long time, and many think Finland is a couple of years behind other EU countries when talking about iGaming regulations. The fact that Finland is the last European Union member country with an iGaming monopoly proves a lot. The state-owned iGaming company has had its monopoly position for 70 years, and now many think it’s time to take the next step.
The willingness to update the regulations started on August 2022, when Olli Sarekoski, CEO of the state-owned iGaming company, commented that breaking the monopoly should be talked about more. That was the first time in history that the government-owned gambling company talked about breaking its monopoly position.
According to Sarekoski, the reason behind this is that the government-owned iGaming company has been losing its market share in recent years. More and more Finnish gamblers tempt to choose a foreign iGaming company instead of the Finnish one. If things keep going like that, it doesn’t make sense to maintain the monopoly position in Finland.
After plenty of discussions, it’s looking likely that Finland will adopt a licensing model in a couple of years. According to most sources, Finland could adopt their licensing model as soon as 2026. But creating an iGaming licensing model from the beginning is not easy. That’s why Finland will likely take examples from different countries. According to Finnish iGaming experts from Kasinosivustoni.com, Estonia is one of the examples mentioned. The experts commented that many Finnish gamblers appreciate the Estonian iGaming industry has been created.
Examples from the Estonian iGaming market
Estonia is often referred to as the iGaming paradise of the northern part of Europe. That nickname is mainly because of the low tax rate with the Estonian Gambling License. Another reason is that Estonia was one of the frontrunners in licensing their iGaming field. It wasn’t that they were the first ones to do it, but they were one of the first ones to do it successfully.
In Estonia, it’s entirely legal to play either on government-owned iGaming sites or on iGaming sites that operate offshore. The main thing is that the iGaming operator needs to have an Estonian Gambling License. Estonia has strict rules for their licensing authorities, which is why no low-quality or shady operator can work in their iGaming field. Estonia has also started to block unlicensed iGaming operators that try to offer their services to Estonian consumers.
Other examples from other countries
Even though Estonia’s iGaming model has been working very well, Finland likely gets examples from other countries too. For example, Sweden and Norway have been in a similar situation to
Finland. Since Norway and Sweden updated their iGaming regulations only some years ago, they might work as great examples for Finland. But what thing can Finland pick from the laws Norway and Sweden have applied?
In the center of the Swedish iGaming model is a functional and restricted licensing system. Every company that wants to operate in the Swedish iGaming field needs to have a Swedish gambling license. Sweden is strict with who can get a Swedish gambling license, and because of that, the Swedish iGaming market has only high-quality operators in it. With the licensing fees and increased iGaming taxes, Sweden has reduced the number of gambling problems. There are plenty of improvements in the Swedish iGaming market that Finland can use as examples.
Compared to Sweden, Norway has a much more restricted iGaming market. Overall, Norway handles iGaming-related things quite similarly to Finland. In both countries, it is entirely legal to use foreign iGaming operators, but the government is still pushing their operators ahead of everything else. Also, all the marketing and advertising of foreign iGaming operators is entirely illegal. This is how Norway can control most of the iGaming happening inside their country. Since Finland is also known to have strict regulations with betting, they are likely to take some examples from Norway.