The new reform of the Lottery Act in Finland aims towards safety

Regulations on gambling marketing are going to restrict the marketing of harmful games like slots

If you are familiar with the Finnish gambling rules, you would know that they are very strict. The only operator that’s accepted is the Veikkaus state-owned monopoly.

And even though Finns can gamble on international websites, the marketing of casino games is forbidden. Right now, the Finnish government is preparing a reform that should reduce the cons of gambling. This reform will be taking place in 2022 and it seems that it will imply even strict rules on casinos.

Identification for All Gambling

All gambling will require compulsory identification in 2023 and for scratch card games, identification will start no later than 2024. This identification will be able to impose gambling blocks and restrictions in all gambling activities offered by Veikkaus. Right now Veikkaus has compulsory identification for their decentralized slot machines in January 2021 and its game rooms in July the same year.

More Regulation on Marketing

Regulations on gambling marketing are going to restrict the marketing of harmful games like slots. When talking about printed ads, the Lottery Act obliges the parties to include information about help for gambling issues, age limits, and gambling blocks. Measures for monitoring the marketing will be taken.

The National Police Board could have a propose to the Market Court that administrative penalty payments could be imposed. Also, the National Police Board could prohibit individuals from marketing without being in accordance with the Lotteries Act.

Blocking Payments

The Lottery Act also starts blocking payment transactions outside the monopoly system. This blocking is targeted towards gambling companies that direct the marketing to mainland Finland. The National Police Board will have a list of all blocked gambling companies whose transactions must be blocked by payment service providers. This should influence which gambling services are available and prevent harm for the players.

It is still unknown how this will eventually play out. People in the gaming industry are now wondering:

· Is owning a site in Finnish language marketing?

· How many operators will get backlisted?

· How Finland is going to treat PAF, as it is also a foreign online casino

· What payment solutions will be the ones Finns start to use to get around possible payment blocks

Many gaming professionals think that Pay n Play casinos (which are very popular in Finland) will suffer the most, if they are blacklisted. Pay n Play casinos rely purely on bank ID identification and the only payment method is direct bank transfer. Bigger and more diversified casinos can easily add other payment options to their repertoire.

In Norway where payment blocking has been in place for years, the most used payment solutions to get around blocking are:

· Ecopayz

· Muchbetter

· Revolut

· Cryptocurrencies

Placement of Slot Machines

Another thing is the placement of slot machines. The legislative reform imposes that Veikkaus must place its slot machines in places where they can be monitored. This is done to protect vulnerable people and minors.

A plan must be created by the establishments and Veikkaus to ensure self-supervision and high monitoring to prevent harm. Many anti-gaming activists are still unhappy with this, as they would have liked to see all slot machines taken away from stores and public places completely.

Business-to-business Activities

The reform will also allow Veikkaus to create s subsidiary for other activities than gambling. This subsidiary will focus on providing gambling services and products to other companies but not to the consumer.

Is Such Reform Needed?

Such reform could be a good thing for Finland since even though restrictions will be hard on businesses, safety will come first. No matter how strict Finland is towards gambling, there could always be gaps in the laws which can be filled. As long as online and offline casinos are a safe space for Finnish players, that’s all it matters. No one should feel scammed by an operator when investing their funds. Potential winnings, good games, and responsible operators are what can keep the Finnish gambling reputation spotless.