Finnish Government Draws the Line on the Monopoly After Review of New Evidence

Published April 24, 2023 by Lee R

Finnish Government Draws the Line on the Monopoly After Review of New Evidence

Licensing and a broad regulation authority are two new models the Finnish government is considering to replace the monopoly.

Based on the results of an evidence-based study, the Finland authority is leaning toward replacing the current monopoly-based regime.

Evidence Opposes Monopoly

Based on international comparisons, the government concluded that the current regime was “not a recommended option.”

Two Alternative Models

Two alternative suggestions were put forth by the government as options for a regulating model in Finland going forward.

First Solution

The first option resembles the Norwegian regulation model of granting more authority to the regulatory authority to block consumers from accessing offshore unlicensed gambling sites. Implementation measures include blocking orders themselves; advertising bans and payment interruption policies. 

Second Alternative

The second suggested model option is based on those of many of Finland’s neighbours: a more traditional licensing model designed to “significantly improve” channelisation of users to legal offerings.

Problem Gambling Concerns

The Finnish government expressed reservations about an uptick in problem gambling with the licensing model, citing the difficulty of reliably assessing "the likely effects of the introduction of the license system on the prevalence of gambling problems” because the “increase in competition following the introduction of the license system may, in principle, increase the total consumption of gambling and thus also the disadvantages of gambling.”

Comments on Problem Gambling

The study provided further reassuring insight into these concerns, saying that monopoly and licensing systems in practice “do not differ” from each other in terms of the threat of gambling harm or the total amount of potentially harmful activities.    

Harm Reduction Priority

Whatever option is taken, be it continuing the monopoly or more likely one of the two alternative solutions, the document concluded decisively that the priority of any regulation model in Finland would be to reduce gambling harm. 

Protections Against Problem Gambling

Implementation of protective measures against gambling harm includes restricting gambling marketing; establishing a powerful “well-resourced” gambling regulator; and “comprehensive arrangements for the entire licensing system” to protect users.

Examples of Protective Measures

Examples of protective measures put forth by the study include mandatory identification of players; a centralised self-exclusion scheme, and “effective measures” to phase out offshore unlicensed gambling.

Proposed Monopoly Model Updates

The monopoly model has not been abandoned completely though: it turns out that the government has proposed to amend the country’s Lottery Act with restrictions that would strengthen the current monopoly system if it was to continue.  

Study Opposes Updates

Regarding the monopoly updates, the comprehensive study has opposed these measures, finding the technology behind the measures relatively easy to circumvent. 


The study looks like the catalyst for revamping the Finnish regulation system and removing another unpopular monopoly regulation model from the iGaming landscape.

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