Nordic countries have become synonymous with state-run monopolies, but have they gotten a bad rap as well?
A Popular Monopoly
New research shows that players in one Nordic country actually prefer state-run gambling.
Good Monopoly Play
Often referred to as one of Europe’s biggest gambling markets, Finland has been clinging tightly and contentedly to its monopoly regulatory system despite other larger Nordic economies opening their doors, and despite greater protests from the many independent operators clamouring to compete in as many Nordic markets as possible.
Conditioned to Monopoly
Finnish media outlet Yle reported market research firm Taloustutkimus data indicating that 66% of all a large Fin sampling comprised of mostly older members of the Fin population favoured the so-called monopoly regime and did not want it changed.
Youthful Support of Opening
Participating younger interviewees generally showed greater openness to an open market regulation system extending licenses to foreign operators to compete within a national regulatory model--operators currently operating in the proverbial gray zones serving Finnish customers where possible without any monitoring or direct compensation to the Finnish government.
Fin Play Continue
The report further indicated that Finns annually wager over €10 billion on a variety of live and online gambling products, with an H2 Gambling Capital chart placing gaming among Fins to one of the most popular activities in the world, based on loss per resident adult. Gaming machines and online gambling were found to be the most forms of gambling among Finn players.
Optimized Monopoly Model
Upon further examination, Finland actually seems to be trending towards monopoly, having earlier this year integrated the three state-run gaming entities of RAY (casino offering); Veikkaus Oy (lottery and betting); and Fintoto Oy (pari-mutuel betting) into one state-run monopoly called Veikkaus.
Why no Market Opening?
Likely because Finland adapted their monopoly system to the specific preferences of the EU Commission in the early 2010’s, before the well-known slap on the wrist the EU issued to Scandinavia’s largest monopoly system in Sweden for violating EU free market policies.
Good Finn Monopoly
Without the same pressure to adapt now, Finland are under no political pressure to reform their monopoly system, leaving the Finnish government to manage their monopoly without the same public and/or EU scrutiny.