The Sports betting market in Finland

Today, Finland is one of the largest sports betting operators in Europe, with revenues of over €1.5 billion in 2022.

finnish sports betting market

Finns have been playing online casino games for as long as they have been available, i.e. ever since the 90s. Finns have played both at European online casinos and Curacao ones, and have always found new things to play on aggregator sites like uudetvedonlyö to keep their interest up and always find new casinos and new casino offers.

But now the Finnish sports betting and online casino industry is experiencing a big change, which can even be called an explosion, if it is allowed to happen.

Finns are enthusiastic players

In the 90s, Finns were excited about the arrival of the internet. Around the same time, Nokia was perceived as a drug in Finland, and in its wake, digitalization got off to a flying start in Finland, and Finns got the idea that they were the world's number one in the online world and digitalization. Even today, 5G technology is already well-spread in Finland and Finns are covered by mobile networks, but when it comes to optical fiber, for example, Finland has lagged behind e.g. At the feet of Sweden, but equally Finns are very much a people of digital platforms - and more and more everyday activities are done via smartphones.

Payment has also moved more and more to the internet and mobile, as has all kinds of gaming. Gambling for money has also gradually shifted to online gambling, and even those slot machines in stores have decreased from the street scene, while the total amount of gambling remains at a high level, thanks to online gambling and the expanding possibilities of the Internet.

The Internet age has also been seen in Finnish business life, and dozens of Finnish betting professionals have gone to different European countries to work for betting companies, or even to found their own companies and betting operators, e.g. To Malta. Malta is indeed the original hub of the European casino industry, which even in the 2020s has an important meaning for the entire European betting industry and its future, since a large part of European online casinos operate specifically under the Maltese casino license, and with the license granted by it.

Finnish and mobile time

Online time has turned into mobile time. Gaming has become independent of time and place, and especially the last few years have taken gaming even more to the mobile side. Practically every adult nowadays has that gaming machine or smartphone on the go all the time, so gaming has never been so easy, fast and versatile before.

The mobile age has brought all kinds of games to smartphones, and casino games are just one game genre among the others. With the growth of gaming among adults as a whole, it has also meant that adult gaming has become a completely accepted pastime in society. If we add to this the casino operators' own message that casino gaming is entertainment and pastime for adults, then we are on the nerves of the times. Finns have been seen in the vanguard of mobile gaming for years, otherwise Tencent wouldn't have spent billions buying a Finnish gaming company. or Netflix setting up its own gaming department specifically in Helsinki.

This Finnish mobile gaming know-how is also visible in many online casino productions in Europe, and as technical background know-how in Finland as well, and accordingly, when European players become even more mobile players, Finnish mobile know-how will be exported to better-paying European countries.

finnish ice hockey sports

What does a license mean in gambling?

All gambling operators and online casinos in the world need a state gambling license to operate. This license tells which state's authorities monitor the operators and the betting operations, and where the casino pays its taxes and fees from the online bets. Large international operators have licenses for several regions, and it is not at all unusual that the operator therefore pays taxes to several countries and has to adjust its operations a little country specific.

Each license country gives slightly different operating instructions and limit values for marketing, advertising, betting offers and even sports bets, as well as possible loss limits, but licensed gaming is the dominant way to proceed in the sports betting market around the world. As the last large region, the whole of North America serves as an example, where both the USA and Canada have advanced to this license level, and operators apply for state-specific game licenses to market their activities and produce games in that region - i.e. exactly the same as in Europe - even in North America, the states' own rules differ , just like in the EU, each country has its own legislation.

This country-specific legislation has allowed only one operator in Finland but has not prevented Finns from playing at European sports betting sites, and in recent years this situation has been discussed even more.

The era of Finnish licensed gaming is ahead

The background of gambling in Finland is the culture of redistributing lost money, where approximately one billion euros are distributed annually to various activities and associations. This distribution of money has been strongly politically coloured and criticism has grown towards it, which may be reaching its highest point and will blow up the current Finnish sports betting industry and market situation.

The recent public positions and statements of Finland's own sports betting operator have been in line with the licensing system, and this has also prompted the parties to take a stand on the Finnish gambling system and its future - for a long time, and in fact for the first time in history, now in the autumn of 2020, it seems that the political atmosphere in Finland is such, that the Finnish gambling reform could start as early as next year.

If the Finnish parliament decides to move Finland to the EU model in terms of gambling licenses, it also means that the hundreds of gambling professionals who moved from Finland to other parts of Europe can return to Finland to develop their own business activities, keeping Finland as their main base, and not, for example, Malta or Estonia, which are the current main locations relating specifically to the possibilities permitted by law. At the same time, Finland's own license model would bring dozens of new officially licensed Finnish casinos to the market, which would be allowed to market their own services in the same way as the current operator, which would bring new opportunities for Finnish players to enjoy their own sport and generate more tax revenue for the Finnish state, which has now mainly gone to Maltese operators through online casinos.

The Finnish online sports betting industry would explode through that possible law reform. It wouldn't necessarily increase Finns' gaming, but it might direct it back to official routes. It would definitely bring new gambling jobs to Finland and revive the once-downsized local sports betting activity, just like all other online casinos and sports betting on the market do in cooperation with international brands that provide live games, such as Sweden's Evolution . Finland's current operator would have its own opportunities to enter this international competition with its own streaming studios and certainly with its professional staff, which would also bring a new spark to the Finnish gaming industry.

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