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Finns flock to work in Online Casinos in Malta

Niji Ng

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Photo source: genesoul.net
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It is quite well known that Malta is one of the most sought-after-places for online gambling. The reasons are not exactly rocket science. Friendly government regulations and favourable tax regimes are what attract gaming companies to this tiny island.

What is less known though is the number of Finnish citizens working in the gaming companies in Malta?   Apart from Finland, other European countries such as Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic do not allow any commercial online gambling operators and the government hold monopoly on the lottery and actual and virtual casinos. Some of the European countries, UK, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, and Estonia, have a fully or partly deregulated online gambling market.

Malta has over 300 companies in the gaming sector, employing around 12,000 people. Among those who have moved there are at least 400 Finns. Malta has thus been called “The Silicon Valley of Casinos.”

While only Veikkaus, PAF (Åland equivalent of Veikkaus) and Finntoto are allowed to offer online and offline gambling to the Finnish population, there are up to 100 international sites offering Finnish language gambling sites. Veikkaus and Paf also operate actual casinos and plenty of slot machines in Finland.

Finland’s slot machines for gambling situated in public places are exceptional for Western countries. As the cashier at a till hands over a coin as change, many Finns advance to the slot machine by the entrance in a routine-like manner to try their luck. In other Western countries, such a habit is very unordinary.

“In other countries gambling machines are usually situated in casinos, restaurants, and bars, whereas in Finland they are a part of people’s everyday life in shops, kiosks and petrol stations,” says development coordinator Tapio Jaakkola from Gambling Clinic (Peliklinikka), specialised in gambling addictions.

A valid argument offered by the government in regulated countries is preventing gambling addiction and the resulting financial crisis to individuals by limiting the amount people can gamble and on the other hand recycling the profits to the society for good causes. Veikkaus and PAF return the majority of their profit to culture, sports, research and other social causes. The third argument is the reliability of the gambling operator. Government-owned companies do not cheat.

Same could not be said about commercial online gambling sites and because of the vastly unregulated international market and difficulty of control, there is no guarantee that sites could be reliable. Several services such as Kantacasino.com have tried to solve this problem by star ranking and auditing online gaming sites based on reliability, the number of games available, offered bonuses, and user-friendliness of sites.

According to the Ministry of health of Finland, 2.7 per cent of Finns in the age group of 15–74 suffer from gambling problems at different levels. That is 110,000 Finns. Gambling problems are three times more common among men than women (men 4.7 per cent, women 1.6 per cent). The change of the age limit (K-18) in 2011 has significantly reduced gambling within the group of young males. Gambling among girls was rarer already before the amendment. There are several different sites offering help and information for people with gambling problems, such as Pluuri, Gametalk and Peli poikki.

Source: helsinkitimes.fi

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Central Europe

STS to focus on further development in Poland

Niji Ng

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STS to focus on further development in Poland
Mateusz Juroszek, STS.pl CEO / Photo Source: e-playbet.com
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STS, the premier bookmaker group in Poland, is focusing on further business development in Poland, in spite of the several proposed challenges. STS has categorically ruled out any plans for listing on the stock exchange.

STS currently holds 49 per cent of Poland’s bookmaker’s market in Poland.

“We want to focus on business development in Poland. After the statutory changes, the market is growing all the time. We realise that we will not reach 70 per cent market share, there is an influx of new companies, competition is increasing and the challenge may be to maintain such a high market share. I would be happy if we had 43–45 per cent in five years.” – CEO Mateusz Juroszek told PAP Business.

The President pointed out, quoting the estimates of the “Graj Legalnie”(Play Legally – ed.) Association, that the turnover value of legal bookmaking activities in 2018 should generate about PLN 5 billion. Thus, STS – according to estimates – should make a turnover at the level of approx. PLN 2.5 billion in 2018. In 2017, the STS turnover reached PLN 1.6 billion.

“Analyzing the Italian market, it can be seen that the average Italian spends on one bet five times more than the Pole. The Polish bookmaking market is much younger, Polish society is getting rich, and it has more and more money for betting. Currently, the average amount per bet is PLN 25, and recently it was PLN 19. This should allow us to grow and increase revenues – said president Juroszek – as STS we want to grow faster than the industry in Poland, above all at the expense of illegal competition, which has about 40 per cent of the market” – he added.

The President of STS informed in April that the company has no plans to enter the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which had been mentioned earlier. He also pointed out that the company could make its debut on the London or Stockholm stock exchanges in the future.

 “A few years ago, we said that we would like to go public. Then the company, the stock exchange and the market were in a different situation. We do not need capital, we do not intend to sell the company. Therefore, the stock market debut today is not an interesting topic for us and we do not have any discussions in this matter” – said Mateusz Juroszek.

 

Source: E-PLAYOnline

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Gambling in the USA

Arkansas court ruling paves way for casinos

Niji Ng

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Arkansas court ruling paves way for casinos
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The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled in favour of an amendment, which will pave the way for setting up licensed casinos in the state. Specifically, the court upheld Issue 4, the amendment for allowing four casino licenses in the state.

Nate Steel, counsel for Driving Arkansas Forward that lobbies for casino licenses, said that the Supreme Court ruling clears the path for Arkansas voters to add almost US$6 million to the state’s economy and create 6,000 new jobs.

 “We are grateful the Supreme Court upheld the Attorney General’s certification that Issue 4 is clear and understandable to voters. We are confident Arkansas will vote to keep casino entertainment dollars in our state when they cast their ballots on Nov. 6,” said Steel.

The legal challenges were filed in September against the ballot and Chief Justice Dan Kemp, who was in charge of the challenges and later recused from the cases. The lawsuits were trying to get the proposal disqualified from the ballot, even after a major lobbying campaign that managed to get the question on the November election.

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Industry News

GambleAware promises funding to software that blocks gambling websites and apps

Niji Ng

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GambleAware promises funding to software that blocks gambling websites and apps
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GambleAware, a leading charity working to promote responsible gambling, has promised funds to a software called Gamban, that will block gambling websites and apps.

The charity said the funding is as part of its treatment offering to people suffering with problem gambling.

Gamban software will acts as a firewall in the access to both licensed and illegal gambling sites. This way, users can easily exclude themselves from betting and gaming online or via apps.

GambleAware said it will provide funding to the software so that it can continue to be available for free to use and encourage more people to use it.

Marc Etches, chief executive of GambleAware said: “Blocking software can be an effective tool to help those at-risk of getting into difficulties resist the ubiquitous gambling adverts and special offers that surround us these days.

“This report reinforces the point that such tools work best as part of a treatment package tailored to the individual rather than being effective in isolation. This evaluation gives us the confidence we needed to fund the use of this software for anyone who is referred to our treatment services.”

The move comes ahead of this year’s Responsible Gambling Week, which will run from November 1–7. Aspers, Mecca, William Hill and Cashino are among the top brands to have pledged their support to the initiative.

GambleAware has also urged parents and families to teach young people about the risks associated gambling.

 

Source: iGamingBusiness

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