Who gambles in Finland?

In Finland, a large population survey on gambling is carried out every four years. The latest Finnish Gambling 2019 survey was published in 2020, with 3,994 Finns aged 15–74 (52% of people contacted) taking part.

According to the gambling 2019 survey

  • 78% of respondents have gambled in the last 12 months – 74.5% of women and 82% of men (i.e. around 3 million people have gambled during the previous year).
  • Gambling is most common in the 25–44 age group (around 85% have gambled during the previous year). In all age groups, men gamble more than women.
  • The most popular games are weekly lotteries and/or Jokeri (64%), scratch cards (47%) and slot machine games outside casinos (31%).
  • 17% of respondents gamble at least once a week (in 2015, the figure was 21%).

Those who gamble several times a week or daily can be characterised as follows:

  • low income: earning €501–1,500 net per month
  • outside working life: being unemployed, laid off, chronically ill or on disability pension
  • old age: belonging to the two oldest age groups

General observations, also noted in previous surveys

Men start gambling at a younger age compared to women and they gamble more. Men also play more games that aren’t games of chance (sports betting, poker), whereas women focus more on those types of games, such as slot machines or roulette.

Gambling is concentrated: a small number of all players bring in the vast majority of revenue. The top 2.5% of gamblers are estimated to bring in half of the gambling revenue.

What is the attitude towards gambling in Finland?

The Finnish culture has long been quite pro-gambling. Gambling has been associated with an image of the lost money being channelled to good causes. In recent years, gambling problems have come to the forefront of public debate and awareness. 

According to the population survey, Finns' attitudes towards gambling have become slightly more negative since 2015.

Throughout the years, women have portrayed a more negative attitude compared to men in the surveys.

In 2019, the majority of respondents felt that gambling should not be encouraged (91%) and that there are too many opportunities to gamble (71%).

  • Of the respondents, 61% considered the current state of Veikkaus' advertising to be satisfactory, while the same figure was 72% in 2015.
  • Attitudes towards gambling advertising have thus clearly become more critical. In 2019, 32% of respondents felt there was too much advertising.
  • A majority (52%) were in favour of moving all games to arcades; 22% were against this centralisation and 26% had no opinion on the matter. This was a significant shift.  Previously, only 37% of respondents were in favour of moving all games to arcades.

In 2019, 68% of respondents considered problem gambling to be a serious issue, while the same figure was 45% in 2015.

In 2019, 72% of respondents thought that the current state monopoly system was a good way to limit gambling-related harm, while 21% thought that the state monopoly system wasn’t a good way to prevent gambling harms and 7% couldn’t say.

Learn also about how much money is spent on gambling, gambling outside the monopoly system and enforcing the age limit in Finland

See also:

Finnish gambling system

Statistical information on the extent of the gambling problem in Finland


Gambling, problem gambling and attitudes and opinions towards gambling in 2007–2019. Finnish Gambling 2019 (in Finnish)