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Lottery Act Passed in First Reading in Finnish Parliament

The Finnish parliament passed the country’s Lottery Act in the first reading. This Act features a band of tighter regulations set to govern offshore operators. Also included in the Act are extra safeguards for the state’s Veikkaus’ monopoly

More Safeguards for Veikkaus and Tighter Controls for Offshore Operators

The Lottery Act passed by the Suomen Eduskunta features a range of regulations for the iGaming sector in Finland. One of them includes the introduction of blocking payments for offshore operators. That means the country’s monopoly, Veikkaus, will continue to enjoy its monopoly. 

Also included in the reforms is mandatory identification for all forms of gambling. The sector is set to adopt this reform no further than 2024. This particular reform was already implemented on Veikkaus slots earlier in the year. 

Veikkaus said the move aims at promoting responsible gambling amongst players. This also aims at further preventing potential risks of falling into problem gambling. The ID verification introduced to slot machines is expected to bring player losses down by €300m.

The revamped Lottery Act would also affect marketing regulations. This Act now considers gambling games advertisements as harmful. That includes slot machines, and the result will be a ban. 

EGBA Criticizes Payment Blocking, Tays this State Aid

The secretary-general of the European Gaming and Betting Association expressed their dissatisfaction with the payment blocking move. Maarten Haijer said this is only an effort to further solidify Veikkaus’ monopoly even as consumers continue to look elsewhere for alternatives. 

The EGBA official said the move to block payments is a clear indication that a majority of the country’s gamblers prefer betting on other sites apart from the state-run monopoly. Haijer said there are numerous reasons for these gamblers to seek alternatives. 

Better wagering odds and expertise in offered products rank among the top reasons. Better diversity in terms of gaming is also a key reason just to mention a few. 

According to Haijer, consumers vote using their feet in the online space. This is why the official said they will continue to push the Finnish government to rethink its proposed move now past its first reading in parliament. Instead, it advocates for the country to reanalyze its gambling monopoly structure. 

Coming up with a solid regulatory framework with a multi-licensing model for the iGaming industry in the country is a more preferred move for the EGBA. 

Lottery Act Passed in First Reading in Finnish Parliament

Payment Blocking Proves Controversial

The EGBA wasn’t the only one in disagreement about the move to block payments. Finland’s Constitutional Committee stated this particular aspect in the Lottery Act was unconstitutional. The Administrative Committee, on the other hand, argued an inquiry into what it terms as a “practically broken” monopoly should have been initiated. 

The committee also proposed payment blocking should only be implemented for payments to iGaming operators and not for gambler transactions. Also recommended by the committee was shifting the contribution of Veikkaus to the country’s overall budget pool. This is instead of using it for other designated causes. 

The amendments to the bill passed the first reading. Its next step is the second reading for approval. The president will then assent to the bill to become law. 

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Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Published: 03 Jan 2022
Updated: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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