Finland has been close to online gambling since it first came about in 1996. According to surveys, those who live in this Nordic country are likely to gamble weekly, though there are many who gamble daily. However, there are some somewhat strict rules and laws in place in regards to online gambling websites. The entire industry is monopolized by the government, and is controlled by three companies: PAF, RAY and Fintoto Oy. These companies oversee their own segments of online gambling, as well as live gambling, in certain areas of the country or industry. While there have been many complaints towards Finland’s practice, the funds generated by gambling are sent directly into the health and social welfare systems to promote the health of the country.
The only gambling bodies that are allowed to control any gambling organizations within Finland are Fintoto Oy, PAF and RAY. The only two online casinos are owned and operated by PAF and RAY, each with their own company. Fintoto Oy is in charge of sports betting and horse racing around the country, and holds the monopoly for those specific sections of all gambling. PAF handles the gambling in the Aland Islands, where they control the companies, the revenues and the requirements for their companies. RAY oversees the national lottery, as well as all table games and slots games in the gambling industry. However, not all gambling that is done in Finland is done under Finland companies. There are no laws the restrict citizens from signing up and using foreign gambling casinos.
All forms of online gambling are directly under Finland’s PAF and RAY monopolies. Any sites owned and run by PAF offer their customers a variety of slots games, along with bingos, dice, skill games, poker tournaments, betting operations, casino games and lotteries. Ray, on the other hand, controls mainly casino and poker games on their websites. Many Finnish gamblers who use either of these sits stick to using the PAF, while those from the North operate using RAY sites. The benefits of these sites are they are in Finland’s native tongue, and all funds go directly into the country.
When it comes to foreign gambling operations, Finnish citizens are allowed to gamble using websites that aren’t Finland-based. However, it is illegal for them to advertise and promote online casinos from operators other than PAF and RAY. Finland would greatly prefer their citizens to operate using one of the aforementioned sites, though they realize that it is entirely up to the gamblers.
While there is not an abundance of online gambling sites, there are a number of ways to access an online casino. While many may choose to use PAF or RAY sites, there are even more who sign up for and use foreign casinos. Most online casinos warmly encourage Finnish players to sign up, even offering special bonuses and promotions to those based there. Others have created websites in the Finnish language to allow players to easily integrate themselves into the game.