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Finland Online Casinos

Finland Online CasinosGambling is entirely legal in Finland both offline and online. Players are welcome to enjoy online casino action at Finland’s state-owned betting sites or a host of international gambling sites without any fear of breaking the law. Yet the legal framework in Finland is still complicated; only the state-backed operators are legally entitled to offer their services, and the country is in a running battle with the EU over its monopoly of the gambling industry.

That government-controlled monopoly has been in operation since before World War II, and betting has always been an incredibly popular pastime in Finland. Estimates suggest that as many as 8 out of 10 Finnish adults have a bet on an occasional basis, and 5 out of 10 do so at least once a week. Profits raised from gambling in the country are diverted back to society in the form of funding, and that might explain why Finns are happy to spend an average of 14 Euros per week in wagers.

We’ve put together a list of the top online casinos for Finnish players:

Best Finnish Online Casinos for 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
200% UP TO €1200
2
200% UP TO €2000
3
100% UP TO €1600
4
100% UP TO €1500
5
200% UP TO €800

Best Finnish Online Casinos for 2017

1
Casumo Casino
200% UP TO €1200
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2
Dunder Casino
200% UP TO €2000
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3
Jackpot City Casino
100% UP TO €1600
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4
Thrills Casino
100% UP TO €1500
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5
CasinoLand
200% UP TO €800
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Finland and Sweden Play Monopoly

The gambling structure in Finland has barely changed since its inception, and the government-backed monopoly is split between three main bodies: RAY, Veikkaus Oy, and Fintoto Oy.

  • RAY controls land-based gaming and is responsible for casino games, slot machines and table games.
  • Veikkaus Oy administrates the National Lottery and siphons all profits back into the development of Arts, Sciences, Sports and Culture.
  • Fintoto Oy is in control of Horse Racing in Finland, and returns the proceeds to the development of horse sports and breeding programs.

In addition, there is a fourth body, PAF, which regulates all forms of gambling on the Finland-governed Aland Islands.

The EU has put increasing pressure on the Finnish government to reform its gaming laws and bring legislation in line with EU laws, but as yet the government has resisted. Much like the Swedish government's policy towards online casinos in Sweden, Finland has said that it intends to maintain its monopoly, and has recently suggested that it will look at new ways to deter foreign operators from entering the market.

The government was also keen to stress that it would not penalise any Finnish citizens who play at foreign casinos, and at the current time there are no plans to ask ISP’s to block foreign websites, nor to ask banks to stop processing transactions.

Legislation so far has been limited to the Gaming Law of 2010, which prevents foreign gaming providers from advertising their services through the Finnish media, with fines and prison sentences imposable on both media companies and gambling operators.

From Slot Machines to Online Casinos

Traditional slot machines were first brought to Finland from Germany in the 1920’s by private companies, but the state had decided by 1933 that only charities would have a licence to operate the machines. By 1938 RAY was set up to act as Finland’s slot machine association, not only to oversee the slot gaming industry, but also to manufacture the machines and provide funding for health and social issues caused as a result.

The advent of online gaming was when issues arose. PAF, the body in control of the Aland Islands was granted a licence to operate an online casino, and has offered casino games, a poker room, bingo and an online sportsbook since 1999. This remained the case for years, and players from the mainland were given access to internet betting, with PAF being the only licensed provider. RAY continually lobbied against this, and eventually in 2010 the government relented and allowed RAY to expand into online casinos and poker, while Veikkaus Oy and Fintoto Oy were also allowed to offer web based services.

However, the four state-sponsored bodies remain the only licensed gambling operators in the country, and Finland is keen to keep out foreign-based betting sites.

Small Stakes, Big Players

The Finnish gambling industry generates 1.7bn Euros per year, and estimates suggest that players spend approximately 130 million Euros per year with foreign operators. That’s a small figure but the government are sufficiently worried about large foreign firms to consider changes to the law.

Finland is a lucrative market, and most large gambling companies are keen to earn a slice of the action. The reason Finnish operators are worried about their ‘aggressive marketing techniques’ might be summed up in a statement by Timo Kiiskinen, Senior Vice President of Business Operations at RAY, who said in March 2015:

“It’s clear that often customers will take the best deal when they’re considering gambling, this causes quite a headache for us, and the authorities should look at the issue more closely”.

From a punters point of view, we want the best odds and the best deals, so it’s hard to have too much sympathy with those behind the monopoly if players choose to take their money elsewhere.

What Does the Future Hold?

It appears that it will be increasingly difficult for countries like Finland and Sweden to maintain their grip on the gambling industry. Although the Finnish government says it is keeping an eye on the situation, it will be difficult to bring in new laws prohibiting foreign operators with such vehement opposition from the EU.

A more tech-savvy population is also exploring the benefits of playing at overseas websites, and taking advantage of better bonuses, better odds, and better deals. It’s hard to criticize Finland’s policy of returning gambling profits to the state, but ultimately, players will vote with their virtual feet.

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