Finland is another European country that has a love affair with gambling but a set of regulations that does not match. While the Scandinavian country has legal gambling, the laws around online gambling are in need of updating, with no correction in sight. Finnish fans of online slots still have many options when it comes to sites to choose from, but with uncertain rules surrounding offshore sites, players should tread lightly into those waters. This page will give you a quick summary of gaming laws in Finland as well as an overview of some of the best software companies and operators that are open to real-money play from the country.
Gambling Regulations in Finland
As we mentioned, gambling is part of the Finnish culture, and there are many forms of legalized land-based gambling across the country. While the country has legalized land-based gambling, the operators are all state-run which is very similar to other countries in Europe. This means that there is no free market environment available for private companies to compete within.
The regulated land-based gaming in Finland is managed by 4 companies. On the mainland, a company called RAY is in charge of all the slot machines and casino games offered. Veikkaus Oy is the company tasked with overseeing everything related to sports betting, bingo, and lottery. Horse racing and other pari-mutuel wagering is the responsibility of Fintoto Oy. There are also thousands of tiny islands off the coast of Finland, known as the Aland Islands. They have their own separate gaming authority, with is called PAF. The four operators pay a tax to the government of 8.25% of net profits, which is very low when compared to some of the other monopolistic European nations.
Online gambling is a whole different story in Finland. Both RAY and PAF have online gambling licenses, allowing each to operate betting sites. These are the only current licenses in the country. However, when creating these licenses, the Finnish government made the same mistake as many other countries around the world. There was no measure put in place to stop offshore sites from accepting Finnish real-money gamblers, so despite there being a legal, regulated option, many players continue to play slots and other games at sites not licensed by the country.
Players, for the most part, are no longer concerned with the risks of gambling with an offshore site. As long as the site has a good track record and shows that it will pay its players, then being recognized by a local government doesn’t seem as important. With this in mind, many other countries have either imposed fines for those operating from another country, or have had ISPs block certain websites from being displayed in the country. One action that seems to have slowed down the offshore industry in other countries is to add a banking law making it illegal for local banks to process the transactions from online gambling, but these days that is simply a speed bump for players who are keen to play their favorite slots.
With no additional measure in place to either regulate the industry in Finland or ban the offshore sites, this appears to be the status quo for the foreseeable future.
Online Casino Software Available in Finland
PAF has stepped up as an online casino operator in Finland by being the first to not only have their own software available but others that it has licensed for its players. This is a nice touch, but to be honest, there are so many great offshore sites available featuring hundreds upon hundreds of amazing slots titles that we don’t know if PAF has enough to compete properly. Whether you are looking for the best in slot machines, or games that are mobile-friendly, there are RNG and Live Dealer software companies waiting for you to try their wares. The companies include the following:
- Extreme Live Gaming
- Quick Spin
- Evolution Gaming
- Real Time Gaming
There are plenty more to choose from, but if you come across a casino site featuring any of the above companies, you can be assured that your experience will be an enjoyable one.
Best Online Casinos for Players from Finland
With no restrictions in place from the government side with regards to where Finnish players can play real-money online casino games, the responsibility is on the shoulders of each site to determine whether or not to accept the deposits. AS reputable as the entire industry and its member casino have become over the years, most of the sites have chosen to remain in the Finnish market until they are told to do otherwise.
That is excellent news for your readers and makes our reviewers extra busy! With so many amazing sites available to players from Finland, we had to narrow down our top choices into this list below. Any of these casinos are ones that we would recommend, and while we still urge our readers to gamble within your means and to keep minimal amounts of cash on any site, we feel that your safety is not in jeopardy with any of these sites.