Gambling, casinos, slot halls and online casinos in Finland
The earliest form of organized gambling appeared in Finland in the 17th century. In 1889, social rejection resulted in the law that prohibited organizing lotteries and gambling. In 1920s, the law was liberated, and the state legalized money lotteries and betting on horse racing.
Nowadays, Finns are provided with enough opportunity to gamble. Statistics ranks Finns fourth among the world’s biggest gamblers, spending around EUR 2 billion on games of chance every year. Finns wager a lot, with 80% of the population gambling in some form (https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/02/09/the-worlds-biggest-gamblers).
The striking feature of the Finnish gambling market is its strict regulation. The gambling proceeds of the state-owned operators go back into Finnish society. Finns never feel bad about losing because they know that the gaming proceeds will be channeled to good causes. The proceeds from gambling are used to support education, science, and culture (53%), social well-being and public health (43%), agriculture and forestry (4%). Veikkaus (the state agency that holds the exclusive right to operate gambling in Finland) generates over EUR 1 billion a year for the common good (https://www.veikkaus.fi/fi/yritys?lang=en).
In 1917, Veikkaus Oy was formed as a merger of three previously existing gambling agencies. Now, Veikkaus Oy is a single gaming company owned by the Finnish State. The company runs all online and land-based game halls, casinos, arcades, and slot machines. According to the Annual Report 2018, the turnover of the company totaled over EUR 3 billion last year. The annual revenue from gambling is approximately EUR 1.1 billion (https://cms.veikkaus.fi/site/binaries/content/assets/dokumentit/vuosikertomus/2018/veikkaus_annual_report_2018.pdf). Veikkaus Oy operates over 3,700 gaming locations, 90 Pelaamo (gaming centers across the country), Feel Vegas arcades, and over 20,000 slot machines (https://www.veikkaus.fi/fi/yritys?lang=en).
Land Based Gambling
In Finland, the first roulettes were set up in night clubs in 1970s. Legally, such games must be licensed. Ten casinos currently operate in six cities now. The minimum gambling age in Finland is 18.
The Grand Casino Helsinki, Finland’s only casino belonging to Veikkaus Oy. The casino has over 20 gaming tables, and 6 poker tables providing classic table games, and around 300 slot machines. Casino Helsinki offers its visitors unforgettable time and just asks to bring a passport or an ID with a photograph (Schengen countries) for registration (http://www.casinohelsinki.fi/en/about-casino-helsinki).
The remaining nine casinos belong to Feel Vegas entertainment club. Feel Vegas is part of Veikkaus Oy. Feel Vegas clubs combine international gaming entertainment and restaurant services. Their range of games includes classic casino games as well as Veikkaus Betting Products, and Lotteries. Every Feel Vegas club has a wide selection of international and domestic games as well as over 50 slot machines (http://www.feelvegas.fi/en/about-us).
Slot machines in Finland date back to the 1920s. In 2017, 21,424 gaming machines operated in Finland. They are set up in malls, gas stations, and other locations. Every slot machine is to be checked and approved by the National Police. It must also be equipped with a recording storage device. Veikkaus Oy established a great number of gambling and gaming centers across the country, known as Pelaamo, which can be found almost in every city(https://www.veikkaus.fi/fi/yritys?#!/yhteystiedot/pelipaikat).
Online Gambling in Finland
The only Finnish online casino in mainland Finland can be found at www.veikkaus.fi; it offers its visitors a great number of traditional casino games and poker. A lot of slot machines, totalizer and sports betting are also available. About one third of Veikkaus playing takes place online.