The Finnish gambling system

On this page, you’ll learn about Finnish gambling in a nutshell: the gambling system, the amount of money spent on gambling, who gambles and forms of gambling. You’ll also find information on how the age limit is enforced and how gambling is marketed.

The Finnish gambling system

In Finland, gambling is regulated by the Finnish Lotteries Act. Gambling operator Veikkaus has exclusive rights to organise gambling in mainland Finland. In the Åland Islands, gambling is operated by Paf.

At the beginning of 2017, the three previous gaming companies – Finland's Slot Machine Association (RAY), Veikkaus and Fintoto – merged into a single operator. The new Veikkaus Ltd. started its operations on 1 January 2017.

The purpose of the state monopoly system is to prevent and reduce gambling harm

The European Union allows the restriction of competition with certain conditions: the prerequisite of the monopoly is a genuine and consistent effort to reach the goals set for the restriction of gambling harms, fulfilment of which is regulated by the Parliament and the Commission of the European Union.

The aim of the state monopoly system used in Finland is to restrain the social and health-related harms caused by gambling, such as uncontrolled gambling, crime and set-ups, as well as to guarantee the honesty of the games and the legal protection of the consumers.

The follow-up and research of the harms caused by gambling is conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and they are also responsible for the prevention of these harms and the development of treatments. The Ministry fulfils these obligations in collaboration with the National Institute of Health and Welfare.

The Finnish gambling system is changing

The Finnish gambling system is changing. Petteri Orpo's government programme includes a transition to a licensing system by the beginning of 2026. According to the programme, online casino games (including online slot machines) and betting would be covered by the licensing system and in the future, these could also be licensed by companies other than Veikkaus.

See also: How much money is spent on gambling in Finland?

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Gambling marketing and advertising

The National Police Board is responsible for supervising gambling services and related advertising. The National Police Board is responsible for ensuring that gambling-related marketing complies with the Lotteries Act and the Consumer Protection Act. The Board also intervenes in illegal activities.

According to the Lotteries Act, gambling marketing includes advertising, indirect advertising and other activities that promote sales.

Only Veikkaus has the right to offer and advertise gambling services in mainland Finland.

Regardless, foreign gambling operators still take part in illegal content marketing and advertising online.

It might be difficult to identify advertising especially when it’s done by influencers on social media. This type of advertising targets young adults, in particular.

For more information, visit the National Police Board’s website

Check out the National Police Board's No Limit campaign, where an imaginary social media influencer realises the true nature of image advertising.

The availability and visibility of gambling has a significant effect on the development of problem gambling. For problem gamblers, the visibility and excessive advertising of gambling is a risk.

87% of the gambling clinic Peliklinikka’s clients felt that the advertising of Veikkaus was excessive and 60% felt that their gambling increased as a result.

See also:

How much money is spent on gambling in Finland?

Finnish gambling system

Statistical information on the extent of the gambling problem in Finland Lotteries Act