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Finnish political parties have agreed licensing system is the way to move forward

Finnish political parties have agreed licensing system is the way to move forward. This was among the many interesting facts covered in the Scandinavian Gaming Show‘s Finland panel moderated by Minna Ripatti on 3rd of November 2022.

We’ll provide the subscribers of Legal Gaming Update the notes that were used to summarize the recent developments in Finland and to guide the conversation:

2022 summary – the year of many faces

Lotteries Act (1047/2001) reform

– Aims: Strengthen monopoly + Responsible Gambling.
– Strengthens monopoly system (NPB’s resources, PSP-blocking, administrative penalties).
– Enables Veikkaus B2B operations.
– Responsible Gambling measures (i.e., comprehensive compulsory identification by 2024, Veikkaus customer data may be used in gambling research, marketing specifications).

Channelization rate decreases along with Veikkaus GGR

– Overall: 2017 88% -> 66% H1/2022.
– Online: 2017 70% -> 50% H1/2022.
– Competitive online market even lower (casino games ~40%, fixed odds sports betting ~20%).
– Veikkaus GGR 2017 EUR 1,8 billion -> EUR 1,0-1,1 billion 2022.
-Offshore 2017 EUR 200 million -> EUR 500 million 2022.
– EU law perspective & Veikkaus position in the opening market.

Draft law cutting the ties between gambling proceeds and the beneficiaries

– From the beginning of 2024 gambling proceeds will not be earmarked but part of normal state budget procedure.
– Monopoly loses its greatest lobbying force.
– Political parties have already reached a preliminary agreement on the matter and the draft law is extremely likely to pass.

2022 summary – towards licensing system

Veikkaus statements

Veikkaus CEO Olli Sarekoski in Veikkaus interim report on August 29, 2022:

”If the sharply declining trend of Veikkaus markets share cannot be stopped, Finland will have to start thinking about bringing all gambling under the same regulatory regime.”

Veikkaus VP Velipekka Nummikoski in YLE’s interview on September 9, 2022 underlined that Veikkaus is ready to give up its monopoly in Finland and presented license system in a positive light.

Support for the monopoly system is gone

-Finland has now reached the point where Sweden was just moments before publicly announcing they will shift to licensing system:

-Veikkaus (figures, disappointment to the Lotteries Act reform, realism).
-Beneficiaries (does not matter for them anymore).
-Politicians (decreasing proceeds).

Parliamentary elections in April 2023

Demokraatti’s poll: Only one minor party steadily supporting monopoly system while all the other parties are open to consider a change. Poll leaders National Coalition Party support diminishing monopoly system during next parliamentary term (2023-2027).