Finland, Finns and Gambling

It is widely know in Igaming sector, that Scandinavians: Danish, Norwegians, Swedes and Finns do play quite a lot, and we mean they gamble. According to the latest statictics, you can say that an average Finn plays about 500 euros a year, that meas that Finns loose around 1,5 to 1,7 billion euros a year! Most of this money goes to state own monoply Veikkaus, which is the only gambling operator that has licence to operate in Finland, and to market casinogames and betting to Finnish adult citizens. So why this article? To clarify some basic things about Finns and Finland.

Gambling and Finns

Finns are born with gambling. Finns see slot machines from babies to elderly, they are situated in kiosks, markets, hotels, restaurants and at gas stations – basically everyone. And even as Veikkaus did took a few thousands of them away, there is still more than 16 000 slot machines openly shown in this premises – so every, even the minors can see them.

A photo of a normal Finnish supermarket…..

This has been the case the past 100 years, as the Veikkaus has grown during the last decades, it has become a main contributor to vast amount of beneficiaries. Veikkaus’ revenue is used for the benefit of Finnish society in its entirety(?). Veikkaus’ beneficiaries are active in the fields of culture, sports, science, and youth work, social welfare and health, and the equine industry. The funds are distributed to the beneficiaries by the relevant ministries. There is a vast and growing opposition to this situation, but nothing seems to be changing – but to go even worse. In 2023 there are to come more obstacles for players in Finland to play at casinos abroad – as Finnish government is taking actions to forbid banks to transfer anymore money from and to casino operators. This did not work in Norway, so why they are trying it in Finland? Everyone in EU has a European right to open and have a bank account in any EU nation, so it is not very hard to go pass this new law.

Real Casinos in Finland

Finland has these hundreds of small casino sites in markets, hotels etc they are all run by Veikkaus. Over 3 500 gaming locations for playslip entries. About 90 Pelaamo and Feel Vegas arcades. Finland’s only casino in Helsinki; another one will be opened in Tampere. Over 35 000 Veikkaus game sales clerks.

Veikkaus and Tampere

Right from its inauguration, Casino Tampere will be a trendsetter of the European casino world as a builder of a responsible gaming environment and a new type of an arena casino. All the games at the casino (slots and table games) will be subject to full authentication. The same system and the same tools for the self-control of gaming will already be adopted at Casino Helsinki in spring 2021.

Finns Gamble

International rankings place Finns among the happiest people in the world, but one statistic suggests they may have a problem with gambling.

78 % have gambled within the last 12 months – 73% of the women and 83 % of the men. The amount corresponds to circa 3,1 million Finns. A Finn spent on average 2,2 % of his/her net earnings on gambling; problem gamblers on average 11,5 %. The most popular games are Lotto/Vikinglotto/Jokeri (74 % has played), the lottery tickets by Veikkaus (37 %), slot machines (36 %).

Men start to gamble at a younger age then women. They also prefer games that aren´t based purely on luck (sport betting, poker). Women play more games of pure chance like slot machines and roulette.

Finland leads in another statistic that may be surprising to some: per capita, Finns rank fourth among the world’s biggest gamblers, spending around €2 billion every year (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on various games of chance. According to a 2015 report by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finns wager the most in Europe, with 80 percent of the population gambling in some form every year.

Finnish gambling history

While gambling had generally been prohibited, in the 1920s the newly-independent state saw the activity as an opportunity for nation-building. At the time, Finns were betting on lotteries and football pools in Sweden, where they were legal. For historical reasons, tensions over the autonomous Åland Islands, and sports rivalries, this was seen as a problem.

The state legalised money lotteries and betting on horse racing in the 1920s, and various social and welfare organizations founded RAY (Finland’s Slot Machine Association) in 1938.

Then came one of the most formative periods for Finnish national identity: the Winter War (1939-40) and the Continuation War (1941-44). Not only were sports organisations worried that state resources would be diverted as the economy suffered, they were also concerned about the influence and threat of communism within their own ranks and Finnish society.

Gambling, Finns and marketing

But as Veikkaus is the sole marketer of casinogaming in Finland, why is there so many casinos in the web that offer games in Finnish? Why do we offer content in Finnish?

Finns use Finnish even when they travel and live in another country. We at Carnival News Company do create content in Finnish, Swedish and English – and we create content also by order, into project and as co-operation with casino and gambling operators. We have done this for years. We also have our own sites in European contries outside FInland – as in Finland YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to market casino games and gambling, unless you create it for Veikkaus. Veikkaus can market in web sites, radio, newspapers, markets, TV…… but only them.

For example: a Finnish company has a gambling link on its site and Finnish Police authorities find these links. They will contact the site owner, telling that casino marketing is forbidden in Finland. They have done this to sites and TV-channels such as Eurosport. And the means are harsh, as they can set a 10 000 euros fine for a web site, if they continue to have the links to sites that tell about casinos and gambling. So even a Finnish site telling about this site, would be categorized as casino marketing, and they could be ultimately fined.

We on the other hand see this a bit differently. As we can write about gambling and casinos in multiple languages, we want to offer this option also in Finnish – but WANT YOU to understand why you are not allowed to have casino links on the best sites, with most of the traffic in Finland – as it is only VEIKKAUS, who is allowed to do this.

So Finns play a lot, they are familiar with slots, and now they are more and more shifting to use mobile gaming – and they are not forgetting the MGA licences casinos. Finns do play also when they are abroad, they play Casinos in Sweden, in UK, in Denmark, in Italy, in Greece, in Bulgaria….. and as VEIKKAUS is consirering going international, we do not see any reason, why we should stop creating content in Finnish. We know that we can have a wider reach with English, but our roots are in Finland, so we create Finnish content.

International marketing

International marketers should understand these above points, and understand that all articles, reviews and post in Finland are subject of deletion in any time – there are no quarantees, no one can give any of them to sites that are run and hosted in Finland. Please, remember this!

Other marketing project

Carnival News Company creates content also with eSports, cars and traffic, Cryptocurrencies, Loans and financials, Health and CBD and a lot more. So if you are interested to reach Finnish customers, contact us and lets see, what we can offer to you. Remember also at the same time, that:

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea across Estonia to the south. Finland covers an area of 338,455 square kilometres (130,678 sq mi), with a population of 5.5 million. Helsinki is the country’s capital and largest city, but together with the neighboring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa, it forms a larger metropolitan area. Finnish, the native language of the Finns, is among the few Finnic languages in the world. The climate varies relative to latitude, from the southern humid continental climate to the northern boreal climate. The best Finnish casino sites have DA of 25 to 35 and traffic is limited do to the fact of the size of the whole nation if FINNS!