Gambling in Finland

finnish gambling

Gambling as a source of fun

Nowadays there is a great choice of gambling options. There are casinos, gambling halls and online casinos. In Finland around one third of all adult population participates in gambling every week. In the 1920s the lottery was legalized, this was done with the aim to make Finns refuse from playing Swedish lotteries and sending money to them. When World War II was over, football pools were practiced in order to support the feeling of unity and face the threats of communism. The survey, conducted in 2016, showed that 83% of people in Finland gamble at least once a year.

Source: International Gambling Conference, 2018

Why people like gambling

There are several reasons, why people like the process of gambling. First of all it brings fun and it is exciting. When people visit casinos, they are granted with a lot of emotions and energy. Somebody wants to relax or change the atmosphere, others are striving for tension and adrenaline rush.
Gambling is always associated with money, it seems easy to earn a big jackpot. Everybody wants to believe that he will be the only happy person to win it. The variety of games attracts different people. There are hundreds of options, as there are different games available, in addition it is possible to choose between usual and online versions.

Important aspects to consider for gamblers

Gambling looks attractive, but still this is a game of chance. Realization of this fact could help a lot of gamblers get rid of unnecessary expectations about financial issues. It is important to remember that casinos are always long-term winners, otherwise there is no reason to launch this business at all.

Individuals should be discouraged from treating gambling as the way to earn money for paying the bills. There are enough stories of professional gamblers, but they are always exaggerated and nobody is able to use gambling as profession or regular option for earning money.

Legislation as a method of preventing harm from gambling

Veikkaus Oy is the state monopoly on gambling in Finland, which operates for more than 70 years already. The state monopoly was created with the aim to reduce the possible negative effects of gambling upon citizens of the country. Profits from gambling are used for promotion of sport, education, art and healthy way of living. The average annual revenue from gambling makes EUR 1.1 billion.

Lotteries Act in Finland

The Lotteries Act was issued with the aim to regulate gambling in Finland. The major purpose of this legislation is to secure legal protection for gamblers, to avoid the situations of misuse or prevent various forms of criminal activity, which could be related to gambling. Also one of the purposes of the Act is to manage the negative social outcomes of gambling, related to health of the players.

The rules for gambling are regulated with the help of government decree. It is needed for regulating of the payment of wins procedures, the number of slot machines, their location and work hours. Additional monitoring is conducted by the National Police Board.

Gambling marketing restrictions

 Veikkaus Oy has the right to market gambling, and this is done in the corresponding responsible manner. In other words the focus is made upon the legal games for Finland. It is not allowed to market such games, which could bring negative effects, for example betting or slot machines for the places, which are not foreseen for these activities.

Gambling marketing restrictions in Finland

Online gambling at official sites

The only legal gambling sites in Finland are PAF and RAY. PAF has the monopoly rights for online gaming in the Aland Province, the Finnish mainland is controlled by RAY. The European Commission demands abolishing of the government monopoly for online gambling, as it is too restrictive for foreign companies. However, Finland continues to sustain the position of government monopoly.

It is legally forbidden for foreign online sites to offer gambling services in Finland. But the problem is that there are no effective mechanisms for restricting and blocking of these sites, which are ready to get money from gamblers from Finland. For example such well-known companies as Bet365, 888 and nettikasinot accept participation of Finnish players.

Advertising of unlicensed gambling facilities is prohibited in Finnish media, still this does not prevent the citizens of the country from visiting and using of unlicensed gaming sites.


PAF is responsible for online gambling in the Aland Islands and it was the first operator, which managed to provide a wide range of bingo games and casino options via its website starting form 2007. This situation led to the conflict between PAF and RAY.


RAY online casino was created in 2010, when RAY received its legal rights to regulate the online gambling sphere in the region. RAY website could be used by all citizens of Finland. All the outside gambling services are considered illegal.

Share of online gamblers in Finland by gender

The statistical data regarding female and male gamblers was collected in 2017. It showed that 27% of male population of the country played online gambling games during the year. The number of females during the same period turned out to be nearly 20% less.

Gambling Addiction Problems in Australia

Gambling as a cultural preference

The fact that gambling is a cultural preference in Australia makes this country one of the world leaders in this sphere. Gambling is often associated with national identity in Australia. There is one more explanation of the fact, why this country became one of the biggest gamblers in the 1990s. This happened because gambling was defined as deliberate government policy choice then. Currently the situation is the following:

  • People in Australia perceive gambling as part of their life
  • A lot of citizens of the country are professionally engaged in the sphere of gambling
  • There are a lot of families, which suffer from gambling addiction
  • There are two sides of application of the “balanced” approached towards the industry of gambling in regard to policy regulations.
Biggest Gambling Countries

The pros and cons of gambling

Initially the problem of gambling in Australia was associated with reallocation of wealth, which was made deliberately, when one party gained financial resources and the other party lost them without involvement of productive work. Such position regarding gambling leads to reconsideration of pros and cons of this process.

Australia has the highest gambling rate in the world – there are 82% of adult people engaged in gambling activities. One of the important factors, which could be held responsible for such high ratio, is the social and business environment, since a lot of citizens of the country are employed in gambling.

Government and gambling

More and more people acknowledge the negative aspects of gambling in Australia. However, the government of the country is to consider the revenue, which is received from this industry, before taking any concrete decisions. The Federal government has the powers to regulate and to govern the sphere of telecommunications according to the Australian Constitution. The Federal government enacted legislation for regulation of online gambling.

The situation with interactive gambling

Australia has introduced a number of interactive gambling laws, which prohibit a number of activities:

  • Online slot machines, poker and casinos
  • Online wagering services, which operate on the basis of betting on sport events
  • Online wagering services, which worked without obtaining the License, issues by an Australian State
  • Online instant lotteries
  • Provision of credits for customers by interactive wagering service companies

Source: CasinoGuardian

Statistically around 200.000 Australians face problems with gambling at higher level, whereas twice more of them have the problems at lower level. The fact is that millions of Australians are dependant upon gambling and the situation continues to worsen. Australians spend about $1,300 per capita a year on gambling, the worse situation in only in Singapore. There is a plenty of gambling opportunities and this is also one of the reasons, why the number of addicted gamblers continues to grow in Australia.

Changes in statistics of online betting

The increase of the popularity of mobile devices has impacted the sphere of gambling as well. Currently around 22% of Australians use their mobile phones for making bets. In 2012 they constituted only 5.6 % of all local residents of the country. The form of mobile phone betting led to the general increase in online gambling procedures within this country.

Australian gambling statistics

Policy and legislation

On 19th May 2000 the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and the Minister for Family and Community Services declared that they planned to introduce legislation for imposing a one year moratorium upon introduction of new interactive gambling services in Australia. The same year the Interactive Gambling Bill was issued. With this Bill all the interactive gambling services, which were not established before May 2000, were prohibited.

A year later the Interactive Gambling Bill was introduced, which:

  • Prohibited provision of interactive gambling services to customers in Australia
  • Prohibited provision of interactive gambling services to customers in designated countries.
  • Established a compliance –based system for management of the online gambling services
  • Prohibited advertising of interactive gambling services.

The Interactive Gambling Act

Interactive gambling includes all the activities, which are performed with the help of online platforms.

Such online gambling activities as online casinos, online roulette, craps, blackjack, poker are prohibited in Australia by the law, namely by the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. This act prohibits the following activities:

  • Interactive gamble services provision to people in Australia
  • Provision of Australian-based interactive gambling services to people, situated outside Australia.
  • Provision of unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services to people in Australia.

This Act was issued with the aim to deal with the negative effects of interactive gambling upon citizens of Australia.

People in Australia gamble regularly

Research data proves that up to 80% of Australian citizens gamble on a regular basis. Australia collects billions in taxes and revenue from gambling activities. A lot of gamblers start using online casinos, they choose the most suitable sites for them and participate in online table games, use virtual slot machines or play poker.

Types of gambling in Australia

Since the history of gambling in Australia is relatively long, it embraces most of the categories of gambling from casino games to betting and online poker. Nowadays most of these types still remain popular by the citizens of the country, but they become even more available thanks to introduction of new technologies.

Online gambling is rapidly growing in Australia, statistically around 15% annually. Specialists comment that this trend is going to continue. It is illegal for the operators, lacking the relevant license, to offer online gambling services to residents of Australia.

Online betting services

Statistically around 35 % of Australian citizens use online services for placing their bets, correspondingly there is an evident increase of online services, which offer such opportunities. One of the examples if Tablecorp Holdings’ online betting website, it is used by around 20% of clients in Australia. The company manages a number of websites, where a variety of gambling opportunities are provided. One more popular gambling company is called, around 13% of Australians use this service.

The problem of gambling in the UK

UK Gambling addiction

The number of British gamblers

Statistically there are more than 2 million people, who could be considered gamblers or at high risks of becoming ones. This means that the government of the country fails to perform all the needed measures and steps in order to manage this problem. People continue to watch gambling ads and have access to gambling facilities. There is an evident need to increase the pace of introducing of changes and address the problem of gambling.

Online gambling participation in 2019:

Source: Gambling Commission report

The problem of gambling in the UK

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists nine persons of every 1000 in Britain face the problem of gambling. Gambling us a serious challenge, as it makes an individual lose control over his actions and choices and lose understanding of time, spent on gambling.
Gambling leads to negative financial outcomes, since individuals are not able to stop and to control their activities, they have debts, they risk losing their houses and all their money. 

Gambling and finance

Financial problems are inevitable outcomes of gambling. Individuals forget about the need to control their expenses, as soon as they start to gamble. As result, they do not simply lose their money, but they gain a lot of debts, which they are not able to cover any more.

They start taking the money from their bank cards and then borrow from friends, use the system of loans until they do not have a single chance to find more money. Usually this happens at the moment, when the whole family is financially exhausted and reaches the limits.

Gambling and money expenses

Within the period between October 2017 and September 2018 there were around £14.5bn spent on gambling activities in the UK. This figure includes various kinds of bingo games, as well as betting on sports or horse racing. Speaking about online gambling, it makes approximately 38.8% of the total spend.

The categories of people, who tend to be involved into gambling

One of the most popular gambling activities is the National Lottery. Around 28% are the participants of it on a regular basis. Most of the gamblers are individuals between 25 and 34 years old and around 40 % of them inform to have participated in at least one gambling option within one month. If to compare men and women, men constitute greater percentage of gamblers in the UK. Usually home computers or mobile phones are used for gambling.

Gambling advertising rules in the UK

One of the approaches towards managing the problem of gambling and online gambling was introduction of new regulations for its advertising. It is not legal to advertise gambling to individuals, who are younger than 18. Gambling companies are not allowed to use either animated characters or celebrities from various shows and films, who “appear to be” younger than 25 in their advertising campaigns.

Taking into consideration the statistics of the Gambling Commission that at least 14 % of 11 to 16-year-olds gamble once a week. (Gambling Commission). This is the reason, why making the rules for gambling and gambling advertising stricter, could be considered an important step towards protecting children and young adults from becoming addicted to gambling.

Online gambling and young people in the UK

If to compare the statistical data of in-person gambling with online gambling by young people between 11-16, then it is evident that only 3% of them used online resources. However, this figure started to gradually increase from 2018.

This could be explained by the growth of the time, which is actually spent by adolescents online, as chatting online, using social media are nowadays the most popular activities for population of these age groups.

Source: Gambling Commission report

Logically, more and more young people started to play online games, including gambling-style games. The most commonly mentioned here are fruit/slot machines. Most of these young players tend to use the accounts of their parents. In some cases young people use their pocket money to open loot boxes or packs.

Source: Gambling Commission report

Attitude of young people to the problem of gambling in the UK

Most of young people are aware of the negative consequences of gambling and of the fact that this activity is rather dangerous. Statistically up to 60% of all young people are informed about actual risks of gambling. Only one teenager in ten would agree that it is normal and acceptable to gamble for the people of their age on a regular basis.

At the same time it is not possible to ignore high degree of exposure to gambling advertising. Around 69% of young people see these advertisements regularly, when they are online. Although most of them do not react immediately to them, 7% of young people still react and start to gamble.

The most popular gambling activities in the UK

The residents of the country tend to actively participate in the National Lottery, which is considered to be one of the most popular modern gambling activities. In addition there is a variety of other lotteries and scratch cards. The second position is occupied by football and horse racing, which are the most popular betting activities in the UK. Most of the gamblers participate in their chosen activities at least once per week, which is a significant increase in comparison to the year 2018.

Mobile phones and gambling

Mobile phones continue to be the most popular method for online gambling for users of various age groups. There is at least 50% increase in the number of mobile phone gamblers between 2018 and 2019. Mostly these gamblers belong to younger age groups – 18-24 years old, whereas about 66% of individuals between 35-44 years old use mobile phones for online gambling. More than 50% of all online gamblers create more than one account and 20% of them have more than five online accounts. They do not gamble only during their free time, but also do it from their workplaces.