Most casinos where Finnish gamblers play are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
There have been a lot of public discussions lately about the possibility of Finland finally following in the footsteps of its neighbours to move towards creating a licensing authority for casinos.
While these casino sites are entirely legal, they are not able to market their services to Finnish consumers. Most Finnish players find their preferred casinos through the grapevine or from affiliate websites.
Finnish players recognize licensed online casinos as trustworthy
An excellent example of an affiliate site focusing on quality is this website, which only showcases MGA and EMTA-licensed casinos to its audience. Finnish players recognize these licenses as a sign of reliability.
Some of the requirements for obtaining the license are that:
All winnings must be based on contingency;
The online casino platform must be safe and encrypted;
The online operator must offer secure payment options;
Measures against money laundering must be in place;
The terms of any given bonus or other offers must be easily attainable and transparent.
Obtaining the license is not a once-and-for-all deal; regulatory bodies can take the license away if the operator fails to follow all the rules and regulations that the Gaming Authority sets.
Foreign licensed online casinos offer better odds and higher RTPs
Despite the growing popularity of online casinos, Finland’s monopoly on the gambling sector has led to a significant drop in revenue due to the nature of the games offered. Many online casinos offer better RTP percentages and odds than the state-controlled Veikkaus.
The MGA requires their regulated online casinos to have an RTP of at least 85%. However, many popular games have an RTP of 90 or higher. Regarding the regular lottery operated by Veikkaus, the RTP can be as low as 44.1 percent. It’s easy to see why so many Finnish gamblers choose online casinos with all the available options.
Tax-free winnings on a licensed casino
Tax-free winnings are one of the main reasons Finnish players favor online casinos licensed within the European Economic Area, such as Malta. No matter how big they win, the payout is not taxable income. But this doesn’t apply to all foreign operators. For example, winnings from an online casino licensed by a UK authority are not tax-free. So, while foreign operators are free to offer their services to Finnish players, not all foreign licenses are equally beneficial.
Foreign operators may work under a Finnish license in the future
It’s legal for Finnish players to use foreign online casinos. However, the casino sites are not legally allowed to market their services to Finnish consumers. But while the popularity of these sites has risen, Finland has yet to receive any revenue from their operations. Veikkaus’s revenue has historically been used to fund many public causes, such as culture and sports. When Finland finally moves to implement its licensing system, the country can get more revenue by charging licensing fees and taxing the foreign casino operators.
Possible changes in the near future have been discussed
The average Finnish player is quite knowledgeable about reliable online casinos. Finnish players searching for online casinos by looking at the casino licence, which is currently, more often than not, granted by the Malta Gaming Authority.
However, this may soon change, as there has been public discussion about Finland moving away from its monopoly on the gambling industry to a licence-based system. While Finnish gamblers tend to see licensed online casinos as trustworthy and reliable, a local gambling licence may be a vital sign of properly supervised operations and high quality.