Finland is one of the countries, which have a state-run gambling sector and the prospects for the feature are that matters are bound to stay that way. Despite the fact that throughout the past few years, Finland faced continued pressure from the EU to relax its grip on gambling, little changes were brought about in the market.
Apparently, the gambling industry in the country continues to flourish as the revenues it brings go over several billion Euros. All forms of gambling are legal in Finland, and the state maintains a firm stance on laws and regulations as there are four regulatory bodies that oversee all kinds of gambling activities.
Since Finlands are quite enthusiastic about gambling, it is hardly surprising that an ever-growing number of operators endeavor to make their way into the Finnish gambling market. As it turns out, there is a profusion of overseas gambling websites, which can co-exist with the traditional state-led gambling operators, thanks to the European Competition Law.
An interesting thing about the gambling industry in the country is that some of the revenues the various forms of gambling deliver are funneled to different good causes, meaning that the industry plays a socially responsible role.
Legalities of Online Sports Betting in Finland
Historical Betting Overview
As it turns out, Finland is one of the states that have managed to find the golden mean when the different forms of gambling are concerned. Although the industry is tightly regulated, the revenues continue to reach unprecedented levels.
The claim that gambling has grown to become a preferred pastime for a huge part of the nation is supported by various surveys, which are held throughout the past few years. The figures for 2016 show that more than 80% of the Finns have gambled at least once throughout the year.
Obviously, gambling has been part of Finland’s culture since the 17th century. The penal code from 1899 outlawed gambling for a couple of years, and it was not until 1917 when gamblers were no longer thwarted from wagering. The attempts of the state to stave off gambling were discontinued back in the 1920s when it assumed a completely different approach by legalizing state lotteries. The explanation of this is pretty simple as that way, the government aimed to incite gamblers to cease playing with foreign lotteries, and more specifically, the Swedish one. Football pools also saw rapid growth back then, thus laying the foundations of the current gambling environment.
Odds Format in Finland
One of the best things about gambling over the Internet is that punters are given the freedom to lay their wagers on various sporting events, which are held almost anywhere in the world. Before they get down to punting on their preferred team or player, gambling enthusiasts should also work out what odds show and how the different ways of displaying their value function.
What Finns should know is that odds will indicate the likelihood of a specific event to come about and therefore, they will be able to figure out what amount a winning wager will return.
The odds format most punters from Finland prefer utilizing is the decimal one, which is hardly a coincidence as it is popular throughout almost all European countries. The straightforwardness of the format is one of the most obvious reasons why gambling enthusiasts might wish to opt for it as they will be able to easily figure out, which stake will bring them better value.
Punters who would like to give their potential profit a look-over simply need to multiply the value of the odds by the amount they intent on wagering. Hence, as long as sports bettors are presented with odds of 2.65 and they decide to put on the line $100, a correct pick will bring them $265.
Finns who prefer to gamble at any of the overseas sportsbooks will notice that most of them support fractional and American odds as well. Fractional odds will show the ratio of punters’ potential gains to the amount they have ventured. As for American odds, their greatest peculiarity is that the odds of the supposed underdog are posted with a positive sign before them, while the odds of the supposed winner can be discerned by the negative sign before them.
An important thing to keep in mind is that all formats indicate one and the same thing, meaning that there will not be any difference in terms of payouts.
Finland Betting Laws and Legislation
The gambling market in Finland has undergone various changes, and the first law, which introduced momentous alterations to the gambling landscape in the country was the Lottery Act from 1966. Its scope covers all kinds of gambling. It lays down provisions not only on lotteries but also on casinos and sportsbooks. Essentially, the Lottery Act of 1966 set up the regulatory framework of Finland’s legislation, which has to do with gambling. In addition to this, it provided a description of the different forms of gambling.
RAY was the entity that was responsible for providing gambling services in land-based casinos. Veikkaus Oy was accountable for sports betting and the national lottery, as well as all instant-win games. Fintoto Oy, on the other hand, was the operator responsible for horse racing. Back in 2017, Finland’s gambling system has undergone some changes, which resulted in the merger of these three operators. This merger led to the establishment of Veikkaus, which is the only gambling company, which is owned by the country. The Aland Islands, which is an autonomous part of Finland, have their own gambling operator, PAF. These operators are also referred to as the three-for-one structure.
The fact that Finland’s legislation needs a shake-up became apparent back in 1993 when the first attempts for reform were made. A couple of years elapsed before the changes were introduced as the Lottery Act from 2001 provided that gambling-related activities can be run only with a license, issued by the licensing authority. All changes the act presented entered into force in 2002 and in practice, PAF and RAY became the two providers of online gambling services.
That way, the country attempted to protect all individuals who take part in gambling, regardless of its form. In addition to this, in this way, the country guaranteed its monopoly over different gambling-related activities.
As it seems, the government in Finland and the EU butt heads quite often due to the fact that the country has overly restrictive measures in place. Still, Finland has retained its position that when the different forms of gambling are heavily regulated and are subject to strict control, punters are less likely to have gambling addictions.
Presently, the Act on Lotteries is subject to a reform and its new version is expected to become effective at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, thus dealing with the public outcry.
Finland Betting Restrictions
Considering the control the country has over gambling, it is only natural that there are certain restrictions punters need to comply with. One of the first things Finns should be aware of is that according to the legislation of the country, they will only be allowed to gamble if they are 18 years old. What many Finns might be happy to find out is that they are not required to pay any taxes on the winnings they will accumulate while wagering online. Still, the only exception remains the winnings they will amass when wagering on lotteries. Gambling operators, on the other hand, will end up paying 8.25% of their net profit.
With the changes Finland’s legislation saw back in 2017, Veikkaus became the only provider that is authorized to offer sports betting, lottery games, casino games, and poker. That being said, the Act on Lotteries, which is the most momentous piece of legislation in the country, does not forbid overseas gambling operators to provide their services to Finns. Hence, online sportsbooks should not encounter any obstacles to deliver their services to punters who are based in that territory.
As mentioned above, PAF is an operator that is situated in the Aland Islands, which is a sovereign province. Although it has the permission to organize games on the territory of the province and overseas, it is prohibited from offering its markets to punters who are based in Finland’s continental side.
Online Betting Regulatory Body in Finland
Finland remains a place where the government does not go out of its way to ensure that things do not look good only on paper, but also that operators and punters abide by all regulations and provisions. The regulatory body, which is responsible for the supervision of all gambling-related activities is the National Police Board, and more specifically, its gambling administration department.
One of its core responsibilities is to ensure that gambling operators do not infringe the legislation of the country. As long as an operator is found to function against the law, the board will order it to discontinue its operations. Additionally, the board also has the authority to impose fines if other less serious malpractices are found out.
In fact, gambling enthusiasts who have any questions, which have to do with gambling might find the website of the National Police Board extremely useful. There, they can find information about the Finnish gambling system and policy, as well as various other useful information on the topic.
Finland Online Betting Bonuses
Finns who have grown bored of using the services of Veikkaus might be keen on the idea to give any of the overseas bookies a chance. One of the most obvious reasons why lovers of sports betting might not frown upon gambling at such bookies is that they tend to shower punters with various perks and exclusive deals.
Such sportsbooks offer nearly all sorts of special deals for gambling aficionados to enjoy, thus allowing punters to get some extra value for the money they will transfer to the bookie. Welcome bonuses are extended by just about any web-based bookie as such promotions are a great way to hit the ground running when you are new to the gambling website. Although this might not always be the case, taking part in such promotional offers involves uploading a specific amount to your account and providing specific bonus code.
Still, sign-up offers are available in all shapes and forms as sports bettors might also be presented with no-deposit bonuses or risk-free bets upon registration as this depends on the bookie they are wagering at.
Gambling enthusiasts should not be left under the impression that Finland-friendly gaming websites attempt to satisfy the demands only of its new users. The majority of the proper online bookies tend to reward their regular customers with free bets, cashbacks, reduced juice on certain markets, referral bonuses, or reload bonuses, among others.
Although most special deals seem to be extremely alluring at first glance, gambling enthusiasts should never leave their terms and conditions unnoticed. First off, punters should be aware that there might be requirements about the minimum odds at which they need to make their stakes. Another essential thing Finns should not omit to check out are the turnover requirements of the bonus they plan on redeeming and the timeframes within which it will expire. On some occasions, there might also be restrictions as to the maximum amount they can cash out after getting the bonus.
Mobile Betting in Finland
Although many Finns might already be aware of that, the gambling industry in the country is growing at a fast phase, and it does help that individuals who are based in the country are quite enthusiastic about their betting adventures.
Claims that wagering on sports over the Internet is a minor interest cannot be further from the truth, especially when Finland is concerned, as the advances in technology made that way of entertainment even more popular. Today, Finns can easily keep on wagering on the teams, players, or sports they like even when being outdoors as the majority of the bookies offer either downloadable apps or browser-based apps, thus providing their users with access to the markets they wish at all times.
Sports bettors who enjoy the idea to gamble through their mobile devices are not advised to make rash decisions as to which bookie to join as there are certain features they should invariably pay attention to beforehand. First off, Finns should be satisfied that the mobile version of the bookie they have joined has all special features its desktop counterpart has in place. What makes proper mobile bookies stand out from the crowd is that they allow their users to handle their financial transactions without any hassle.
Another thing good Finland-friendly sportsbooks have in common is that they give their users access to an extensive range of bonuses and special deals. The look and feel of these gaming websites are not less important as sports bettors should be satisfied that they will be able to maneuver and to interact with the bookie in a trouble-free manner. What Finns should not forget to ascertain is that they will be allowed to go for in-play betting, to make use of stats, or to watch the majority of the events even when accessing the bookie through their touchscreen device.
Popular Betting Banking Methods in Finland
Regardless of their location, gambling enthusiasts want to have the full confidence that they will be able to carry out their financial transactions in a worry-free and prompt manner. The good news is that Finns can rely on a nice range of payment methods whenever they wish to upload funds to their account or to request a cashout, thus having the chance to immerse themselves in their sports betting adventures without a care in the world.
Just like in most other parts of the world, debit and credit cards are exceptionally popular with Finnish punters as well. Typically, Mastercard and Visa cards enable deposits and cashouts, and they can be found at nearly every interactive sportsbook. The fact that this payment method guarantees top-level security and instantaneous transactions makes it a viable banking solution when gambling online.
Gambling aficionados who are indisposed to hand their banking details to operators might want to give paysafecard a try. The unmatched security levels this payment processor maintains are achieved thanks to the fact that deposits through it are carried out using the unique code of the voucher. That way, the need to expose your personal or banking details is eliminated.
The convenience digital wallets make for appeals to many Finns as more and more punters prefer them over the other payment methods bookies accept. Neteller and Skrill are likely to measure up to the expectations of sports bettors because they ensure instantaneous deposits and speedy withdrawals of smaller and rather substantial amounts alike.
Trustly is positively the payment method Finns are accustomed to using and fortunately, it is accepted by a huge number of web-based bookies, which welcome punters from that geography. What makes it so convenient is that when making payments through it, sports bettors will have their funds deducted straight from the balance of their bank account.
Finland Betting Sites FAQ
Can Punters Wager at Overseas Sportsbooks
Gambling enthusiasts who prefer to engage in wagering on sports should rest easy that Veikkaus is not their only option to do so. Luckily, Finns will have a choice from an extensive range of foreign gambling websites, which will give them access to diverse betting markets, competitive odds, as well as to numerous promotional offers.
Which Are the Local Online Gambling Providers in Finland
Currently, Veikkaus is the single government-owned betting agency, which accepts wagers on sports, lotteries, and casino games. It appeared after the merger of RAY, Fintoto, and Veikkaus back in 2017.
What Banking Methods Can Punters Opt for
Finns can make use of various swift and secure deposit and withdrawal methods, with some of the most popular being prepaid cards, digital wallets, credit/debit cards, and bank transfers.
What Special Offers Are Available to Gamblers
Aside from sign-up offers, gambling enthusiasts can also qualify for reload bonuses, reduced juice on certain markets, referral bonuses, and free bets, among others. Regardless of the special offer, which is up to their alley, punters should always get familiar with its terms and conditions in advance.
How Old Should Individuals Be to Gamble
Residents of Finland should be at least 18 years old in order to be permitted to gamble.