Despite there only being a small amount of land-based casinos in Finland, this does not indicate a lack of desire on the part of Finnish gamblers and the country’s population of 5.5 million.
In fact, if recent industry trends are anything to go by, the casino industry is undergoing something of a mini-boom given the increased revenues casinos have been posting.
This bodes well for the casino industry as a whole in Finland — the growth of which has been stunted in recent years due to long-standing restrictions on access to gambling providers.
Despite the relatively small footprint of land-based casinos in Finland, the Finns have nevertheless proven themselves to be committed casino-goers. The majority of punters prefer to do their gambling online, and in recent years online casino usage has boomed. When speaking about online casinos, a spokesperson at kasinonetti.com said these are “currently the hottest trend in the casino world”.
It should be noted, however, that land-based casino gaming is currently run under a state-owned monopoly system, meaning there is a limit on what operators can actually enter into and set up in the Finnish market. The three local government gambling monopolies are the Raha-automaattiyhdistys
(RAY), which controls slot machine games, Fintoto Oy, which oversees horse racing, and Veikkaus, which is responsible for lotteries and gambling. These three entities have full control over all gambling activities undertaken in the state.
However, in recent years more and more Finns have been accessing online casinos, which has created a massive spike in gambling activities amongst the population. Due to the restrictions on gambling entities in the state, all of these online casinos are based outside Finland.
Access to these casinos is relatively simple for Finnish players, however. While no international operators are allowed to set up inside the state, players can nevertheless access them if they are based outside Finland. There are currently no restrictions put in place by the Finnish state to prevent individual players from accessing these websites, which has helped these international operators to increase their market share of players within Finland. It should be noted, however, that while the Finnish government won’t actively block access to these sites, they are still unable to advertise directly to consumers based in Finland.
In response to the increased presence of international operators servicing Finnish customers, the Finnish casinos have begun to increase their online presence. Most recently, the Veikkaus casino entity has announced plans to significantly invest in its online offerings, which could present a challenge to these international operators.
Although the increase in competition might be potentially bad business for the local monopolies, it is ultimately good news for Finnish gamblers. The Finns now find themselves with more options than ever before when it comes to online casino gaming. With that said, the next few years will be a key tipping point in the growth of the industry in Finland as the local operators look to respond to these developments.