Date: 17.05.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Finland’s Gambling Market Prepares for Major Shift in 2026

As Finland’s gambling sector stands on the brink of a monumental transformation, key industry figures, including Veikkaus’ SVP of International Business, Jan Hagelberg, predict significant regulatory changes.

Finland Veikkaus Prepares for a Transformative Era in the Gambling Industry iGamingExpress

Transition to an Open Market

During a recent panel at the NEXT Summit Valetta, details emerged about the ongoing discussions and plans for Finland’s gambling market. The panel titled “the State of Play of Gaming in Finland,” highlighted insights from several experts, including Hagelberg, who confirmed the licensing timeline, stating, “When it comes to the schedule, I have the same view… I’ve said that the license will be given in September 2026. So, I stick to that.”

The move towards an open gambling market is anticipated to foster growth and attract a broad spectrum of international operators. Veikkaus itself is preparing for this new era by integrating technological innovations, assuming new responsibilities, and revitalizing its platforms with fresh talent from renowned companies like Kindred and PokerStars.

Challenges and Legal Considerations

Despite the optimistic outlook, the transition faces potential hurdles. Legal advisor Antti Koivula, from Legal Gaming Attorneys at Law, discussed the enduring challenges, including the enforcement of payment blocks by service providers. These blocks are critical as they prevent financial transactions with unlicensed or illegal gambling operators, a practice aimed at directing consumers towards legally sanctioned options.

This method of channeling players to regulated environments underscores the broader objectives of the Finnish government to enhance channelization and player protection in the wake of adjusting market structures.