Gambling in Finland has become a truly popular pastime among nationals. Luckily for locals, gambling facilities are readily available at any given time and perfectly legal according to Finnish gambling law.
It all sounds fine and dandy, but the situation is not simple. Though punters can gamble whenever they feel the urge, current laws work in such a manner that all gambling possibilities are controlled by state run monopolies.
Due to these monopolies, Finland has been subject to constant pressure from the European Union. The EU argues that the current laws and policies go against EU free trade agreements. Finland contends that this is not the case due to the fact that the government does not allow gambling as a profit source.
The EU obviously disagrees and Finland is sticking to its guns, but the true reason that this conflict doesn’t seem to be budging is because the EU is having trouble enforcing its agreements.
Not only is Finland maintaining its position in regard to monopolies, it has recently shown that it fully intends to expand its current operations. This has become very clear in the case of RAY, one of Finland’s largest gambling monopolies which originally focused on slots.
RAY was recently granted a license from the government to operate internet casino games and online poker in Finland. Research indicates that the rising popularity in poker worldwide may lead to a good, new source of revenue regardless of the EU’s intentions.
The Finnish government knows that players are accessing sites based on foreign soil more frequently. Internet gambling in Finland is becoming very popular and the government would like to keep this business within its borders, as they’ve made very clear.