Internet gambling in Finland just got a big technological upgrade. Casino software company Playtech has announced its winning of a public tend to supply technology to Finland’s online casino/poker monopoly firm, Raha-Automaattiyhdistys (or RAY).
The four-year deal will see RAY launching an exclusive Finnish-language casino and online poker sites in Finland based on Playtech technology. Mobile gaming will also be offered, and the gaming will be offered sometime after June, with no definitive launch date set.
RAY has been an economic force in Finland nearly since its incorporation in 1938. Today RAY supplies about 19,000 slot machines and 300 table games to 8,400 locations in the country and operates the Grand Casino Helsinki. RAY earned over €651 million in revenue for the government in 2009.
Contrary to the current trend in much of Europe, there are no signs of desire to eliminate this monopoly in Finland. RAY is generally considered trustworthy and the scheme has worked for over 70 years. In February, the national parliament reworked Finnish gambling laws for the Internet with RAY in mind. RAY spokeswoman Tuula Lehto at that time said the company would supply a “national, reliable and responsible alternative for Finnish players” online.
Other government-owned companies supplying gambling and/or online gambling in Finland include Fintoto, which offers racing wagering, and the monopoly for citizens of the Åland Islands.
Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer said: “By establishing a domestic online offering, RAY will be furthering its philosophy of responsible and trustworthy gaming,” stated Playtech CEO Mor Weizer in the announcement. “The unique player-management tools we can provide will ensure a secure and safe operating environment in line with RAY’s core values.”