Legislative project for gambling system reform begins
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a legislative project on the reform of the gambling system. The project will prepare for the introduction of a licence system for gambling in accordance with the Government Programme.
According to the Government Programme, the gambling licence system will, as a rule, cover online casino games and online betting. State-owned Veikkaus Ltd currently has the exclusive right to offer gambling in Finland.
The aim of the reform is to prevent and reduce the harm resulting from gambling and to improve the channelling rate of the gambling system in accordance with the Government Programme. The channelling rate describes the proportion of gambling stakes placed with regulated providers that hold a local licence.
The current state of the gambling system and alternative models were investigated in a preliminary study completed on 17 April 2023. The purpose of the preliminary study was to provide information to support the government formation talks.
According to the rapporteurs, gambling outside the monopoly system has increased and causes significant gambling-related harm. The rapporteurs presented two options for developing the gambling system: strengthening the current gambling monopoly system or switching to a licence model for online casino games and online betting.
Towards effective control
The project will draw up the necessary legislative proposals for the reform of the gambling system, such as the games covered by the licence system, the licence fees and taxation, gambling management tools and other prevention of gambling-related harm, as well as the control and marketing of gambling activities. According to the Government Programme, the monopoly activities remaining with Veikkaus and the activities in the competitive market will be separated into different companies within the same group.
The project will also investigate the transfer of game machines to separate controlled areas in accordance with the Government Programme.
The aim is to strengthen supervision of the gambling industry when entering the licence system. The preparation will take into account the social impacts of the licence system, especially the impacts on gambling-related harm. A political steering group and an intersectoral working group including key ministries and authorities have been set up for the project. In addition, experts from different sectors will be extensively consulted.
The project will run until 31 December 2025. The aim is to submit a government proposal on the reform to Parliament in the spring of 2025.
Juha Martelius, State Secretary, tel. +358 295 160 866, firstname.la[email protected] (chair of the steering group) (present from 25.10)
Katriina Laitinen, Director of Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 295 488 559, [email protected] (chair of the working group)