As though print media needed more troubles lately, a poker magazine in Finland is to cease publication this month, thanks to incoming Finnish gambling laws with an extreme position on advertising.
The new gambling law in Finland is scheduled to come into effect on October 1 of this year and strengthens the state-run monopoly companies by making running adverts by foreign-owned gaming providers a criminal offense. As a result of the new law, the Finnish poker magazine Pokerisivut finds itself out of viable potential advertisers and will run its last issue this week.
“We have lost all of our adverts from foreign gambling companies, which make up the bulk of our advertising revenue,” explained Pokerisivut managing editor Tero Salonen, going on to say that “For me, it is an awful law that was written by a small political group with connections to the Finnish gaming monopolies.”
An interesting loophole in the law does exist, however: Publications imported into Finland cannot be prohibited from running any sort of gambling advertisement, Finnish government-approved or not. All any ambitious publisher with an eye on the market for online poker sites in Finland needs to do is create and print a Finnish-language publication and bring it in to the country via distribution deal.
Meanwhile, monopoly company Raha-Automaattiyhdistys (RAY), provider of Internet poker and the approved online casino in Finland, announced a 1.4% increase in total gaming revenue year-on-year in 2010, though profit did fall by 0.2%.