Sweden and Finland are geographical and cultural neighbors, but there are many differences between the countries! Both have interesting setups when it comes to gambling legislation, but as we’ll explore through this piece, Sweden has passed new regulations that change the way the industry works entirely, Meanwhile, Finland’s government maintains a grip over the industry but is investing in new technology to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.
Let’s take a look at the gambling and gaming industry in these two countries and the tendencies of the gamers in both places.
Finland’s Interesting Gambling Setup
Finland’s gambling industry has an interesting setup. It is run and regulated by a government monopoly in the form of Veikkaus Oy. It is an agency that was formed in 2017 as a result of a merger of three agencies, including Fintoto, Finland’s Slot Machine Association, and Veikkaus. The agency runs all gambling operations in the country, with just a handful of real land-based casinos operating in the country.
Today, the agency is working with international partners to build compelling online casino options for Finns interested in enjoying great mobile games. Currently, Finnish gamers turn to websites like Kasinohai.com to find out the best online casinos and games.
The agency takes the money gained from gambling and reinvests that cash into the public sector, helping a range of government agencies and projects with the millions raised by the industry. This is almost unique, with very few countries operating in such a way. Even neighboring Sweden has changed the laws in recent times to make the market more attractive for both gamers and operators.
Sweden’s Loosening of the Rules
As of January 1st 2019, Sweden’s new gambling legislation meant that the government no longer controlled the online gambling industry. Instead, it became open to the free market and began operating in a completely different way to Finland. Previously, the set up had been similar to Finland in that the industry was run by Svenska Spel, a government agency that provided online games only to citizens of Sweden.
The change in legislation meant that the Swedish people could now start choosing from a wider range of online sites. Swedish gambling sites became more competitive, new games were added, and gamers started enjoying the fruits of competition. This didn’t mean that the laws were scaled back in a way that players were put at risk, however.
In fact, new legislation meant that gamers could enjoy greater protection while accessing more games. Promotion of betting and gambling without a permit has been prohibited by new laws, and transfers between unauthorized operators and Swedish citizens have been outlawed in the country. That means it is virtually impossible for Swedish gamers to transfer money to unlicensed operators, meaning that their money isn’t put at risk by playing these games online.
Gambling Statistics in Finland
Finland is one of the biggest gambling countries on the planet, despite its industry appearing (at least to outsiders) somewhat restrictive. Per capita, Finns are fourth in the world gambling rank. More than EUR 2 billion is spent on gambling by Finns every year on all varieties of games. In fact, a report from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in 2015 found that Finns were the biggest gamblers in Europe, and around 80% of the popular engages in some kind of gambling or betting every year.
Veikkaus, the state-owned betting agency, takes in more than a billion Euros every year which is then distributed to various government projects. They even take in more than EUR 200 million in taxes from the gambling industry every year, which equates to around 2% of the national budget.
In Finland, betting is set up so that “A Finn always wins.” The industry funds important government projects, and the gambling industry shows no signs of slowing down. As Veikkaus attempts to keep up with modern trends, the government agency is investing in new collaborations with various international casino companies to offer a wider range of games for players online.
Gambling Statistics in Sweden
Sweden has a large gambling industry, too. In 2018, the total gambling market in Sweden had revenue of SEK 23.4 billion. In EUR, that’s around 2.2 billion. And, according to the Swedish Gambling Authority, the industry is seeing continued growth despite a slight decline in the number of people playing. The growth is driven by committed players spending more on gambling, online and in land-based casinos.
What’s more, the technical development within the industry is giving more reasons for people to gamble. Mobile platforms are growing, and it has quickly become the most popular way to play games with the Swedish people.
Sweden and Finland have different gambling industries, but they’re both strong. People continue to engage with the industry and there are no signs of that changing.