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How Finland Became an Online Gambling Powerhouse



Reading Time: 4 minutes


Finland is popular for many reasons. First, it is the happiest country in the world. It has the cleanest air and the best education system. Other attractions include its reindeers, thousands of lakes, and the Santa Claus Village.

On the surface, Finland doesn’t seem ideal for an online gambling revolution. However, the country has grown into a powerhouse over time. It is bustling with opportunities for both online casino fans and operators. Here are a few reasons why the region has been so competitive.

1.     Variety of Options

The number of land-based casinos in Finland is limited. While this may seem like an issue, it actually fuels the online market. All of the country’s land-based casinos are managed under a state-owned monopoly. Therefore, the number of operators is limited. It is no surprise that betting fans are turning to online casinos.

Online casino operators don’t have to deal with any harsh restrictions. Therefore, there is a much wider variety of online casinos for Finnish players. International operators love the Finnish market and are happy to invest in it.

The economy is buoyant, and the government doesn’t impose many restrictions, even for casinos that are physically based elsewhere. Many Finnish-based operators have already set up business in the country, hence giving local players more options.

2.     Change In Ethos

Finns have had a few concerns over the increased growth of online casinos in their country. While casino providers make profits, many were concerned about the issue of gambling addiction. There weren’t enough regulatory measures to protect such bettors.

However, regulations are now in place to promote responsible gambling. This was always an issue, but it became more obvious during COVID shutdowns. The industry continues to grow, and there are obvious efforts to improve the relationships between betting fans and online casino providers.

3.     An Adaptable Market

As the online betting audience continues easing away from desktop to mobile devices, Finland moves with it. In fact, the country has always been ahead of the game in that regard. In the last year, mobile casino playing has increased by ten percent.

Finn bettors remain adaptable in both online and offline markets. Their government is pretty relaxed about online gambling, and the people are always excited to try out new things.

Finland is generally forward-thinking, and most people support the idea that individuals are at liberty to make independent choices. The freedom to adapt as you wish has helped expand the market.

4.     Technological Advancement

Finland enjoys exceptional technological advancement. In fact, it is one of the leading European countries in regard to technology. Over 5.5 residents actively engage in some form of online gambling activities.

As a result,, the industry brings in two billion Euros every year. If things keep going as they are, the sum is likely to rise. All profits from state-owned facilities go to projects that profit the society including education and environmental research.

Since players know where profits from the online betting industry are going, they are excited to try out online casinos.

5.     Diverse Market

Finnish online gambling sites appeal to diverse markets. Poker games and video slots haven’t been accessible to players for a long time. However, they are now available in almost all online casinos.

Liberal regulations, an open-minded population, and a tech-savvy market have made it possible for online casinos to target wider markets. Being such a progressive country, Finland is expected to continue enjoying growth over the years.

6.     Active Encouragement

The Finnish government is actively encouraging its people to explore online casinos. It is known for its famous slang ‘A Finn always wins.’ This basically means that even if you lose, the money goes to projects that benefit the society.

This has helped Finns grow a betting culture that feels like a moral obligation. You will find slot machines everywhere you go; workplaces, cafes, shops, and gas stations. This is unique in European countries.

The government’s involvement in the industry may seem like a bad thing, but it is a double-edged sword that has helped the industry grow.

7.     Moving Online

The country launched its first online casino in 1996. Play Among Friends joined the industry in 2007. After licensing, the operators started offering reliable gambling and live casino options.

Being such an affluent country, Finland’s mobile technology is spreading fast. Everything is happening online, and people have embraced online shopping, online learning, and consequently, online shopping. Ownership of modern mobile technologies is increasing, and people have now shifted to mobile gaming.

8.     Outside Interest

Although the state prohibits foreign suppliers from marketing within its populace, it allows access to international networks and sites. Therefore, many outsiders are interested in the Finnish online casino market.

In addition, Finland doesn’t have any laws preventing its citizens from playing at foreign sites. The country has a deep culture of personal choice, and it has made things easy for outside investors.

9.     The Country’s Love for Gaming

Finland has always loved gaming. It is one of the few countries in the world that have always had a natural love for online games, particularly slots and table games. In 2019, for example, the country’s biggest regulator recorded 13 million euros in revenue.

The gambling regulatory body reported that almost 50 percent of the adult population is actively involved in gambling. This doesn’t include those that subscribe to foreign casinos.

The Job Ahead

Even though Finland is already doing exceptionally well, it still has a challenge to overcome in the future. The biggest challenge is for the country to maintain its grip on the profits and progress. It must continue to support the gambling habits of the population to stay competitive.

Online casino providers have to stay ahead of the latest trends and promotions. They have to give players better bonuses and promotions. Since domestic providers are competing with big international companies, they have to step up. If they can no longer compete, revenue will decline.

Since the government mostly controls the industry, it requires extra effort to keep innovating. There are no indications that the government is going to change this system. However, it is probably going to affect neighboring countries.

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LeoVegas Group granted three licenses to offer gaming software in Sweden



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LeoVegas Group has been granted three five-year licenses by the Swedish Gambling Authority—known as “B2B licenses”— to develop and offer gaming software in Sweden. These licenses, effective from 1 July 2023, have been granted to the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games and two platforms. Licenses are a prerequisite for providing software to licensed operators and an important step to prevent unlicensed gaming companies, consequently strengthening channelisation in the Swedish gaming market.

Since its inception, LeoVegas Group has experienced rapid growth, evolving from an operator into an integral player within the igaming industry’s value chain via game and platform development. Effective from July 1, 2023, under the Swedish Gambling Act, companies involved in the manufacture, provision, installation, or modification of game software utilised in online gaming are required to possess a license.

LeoVegas Group has now been granted three five-year licenses—referred to as “B2B licenses”—by the Swedish Gambling Authority. These licenses have been conferred upon the Group’s game studio Blue Guru Games, as well as the Group’s two platforms (PAM).

Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas Group, said “We welcome the introduction of B2B licenses, a decisive step towards mitigating the impact of key gaming software being simultaneously provided to licensed operators and unlicensed operators targeting Swedish players. With the new regulations in force, it is now critical that authorities focus on those suppliers deliberately undermining the Swedish licensing system by facilitating unlicensed gaming“.

The 2019 initiation of Swedish gaming licenses marked a significant reform to regulate and supervise gaming companies operating in Sweden. This reform fortified regulations pertaining to marketing and consumer protection, while also ensuring substantial gambling tax revenues. The success of the B2B licensing system heavily depends on the Swedish Gambling Authority’s capacity to restrict key gaming software intended for licensed Swedish companies from simultaneously being used by unlicensed operators seeking to attract Swedish players.

On 1 May, LeoVegas Group announced its intentions to acquire game developer Push Gaming, which is also licensed by the Swedish Gambling Authority and holds two B2B licenses. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

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Casino Guru Awards presents The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Casino Guru Awards’ 2nd edition is coming back on the core promise to provide one of the most equitable and fairest formats for industry stakeholders to distinguish their companies across numerous categories focused on responsibility and customer care. Since the first event, Casino Guru Awards has been actively thinking how to best capture the myriad efforts put into making the industry a better, safer, and more transparent place for consumers and businesses.

This has led the team to introduce The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing, nominations for which are now open. Companies applying in this category will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they apply robust standards to their advertising practices in making their gambling messages heard.

This category aims to recognize iGaming companies that showcase a strong commitment to responsible marketing practices. Our judges will be evaluating the style and content of marketing efforts and materials, such as newsletters, social media campaigns, and others, with a clear focus on ethical marketing practices and responsible messaging. Apart from Casino Guru’s own judges, all applicants will be evaluated by an external panel of industry experts with vast experience in marketing, including:

  • Shane Stafford, Interim Head of Channel Marketing at Three Ireland
  • Martin Calvert, Marketing Director at ICS-digital
  • Dmitry Belianin, Chief Commercial Officer at Parimatch
  • James Bennett, Group Communications at EveryMatrix

The jury will weigh in on the strategies and tactics used by all nominees to promote their products and services. Applicants will be expected to clearly and unambiguously demonstrate how their marketing materials promote their brands while also accurately representing the risks associated with gambling and offering truthful and transparent information that is not ambiguous.

Casino Guru Awards Project Lead Daniela Kianicová, who is also one of the judges for the category, said: “The introduction of The Most Ethical Approach to Marketing category is a continuation of our ongoing commitment to making sure that we create a format that is ground-breaking and addresses the most urgent aspects of our industry, and shine light on the true torchbearers that have unflinching attitude towards doing the right thing.

We are looking forward to seeing robust examples of marketing ethics that put the consumer front and center and provide accurate, truthful, factual, and unambiguous information. An experienced panel of marketers will be weighing in to help shortlist, evaluate, and ultimately pick a winner in this important category.” 

Nominations for Casino Guru Awards opened on May 152023, and will be going through October 312023. Shortlisted companies will be revealed on December 12023, when the voting for Voice of the People category will begin as well. The official event will take place in February 2024.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes


Sandsoft Games – the mobile-first game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent, is thrilled to announce the launch of the second season of its pioneering internship program, Press Start. Available to local residents with an interest in getting into the games industry, the full-time internships aim to foster and nurture exceptional talent for the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia.

Following the success of the first Press Start initiative which began in December 2022, aspiring games industry professionals are once again invited to embark on the journey of creating a playable mobile game within a span of six months. Aligned with Vision 2030, the Press Start initiative has been engineered to nurture diverse local talent and provide a boost to the regional games industry. The Press Start cohort will receive support from Sandsoft’s leading industry experts in various areas, allowing them to specialize in one of three disciplines: design, art, or coding.

Successful applicants will work from Sandsoft’s flagship Riyadh Studio, with access to cutting-edge equipment and resources. Press Start is overseen by a team of esteemed games industry veterans who have contributed to renowned gaming franchises like Candy Crush Saga, FIFA, World of Tanks, Need For Speed and more, including Sandsoft’s Head of Studio in Riyadh, Yahsir Qureshi.

Yahsir Qureshi commented:

“Riyadh is a city full of exceptional, diverse talent and love of gaming. It’s our job to identify this talent and help nurture future leaders who will shape the legacy of the KSA and global games industries. The tremendous success of our original Press Start program has been immensely rewarding for both the participants and Sandsoft Games as a whole, with a number of interns expected to join us as full time team members. Initiatives such as Press Start play a significant role in boosting employment prospects in the region and we can’t wait to welcome a new cohort to our Riyadh studio.”

Basem Alasmar, Game Designer at Sandsoft Games and member of the inaugural Press Start program, continued:

“When I first saw the program on LinkedIn, I was immediately drawn to the idea and the challenge it presented. Working in a gaming company has always been a dream of mine, so I was naturally intrigued. What captivated me even more were the experienced individuals at Sandsoft Games and the impressive game titles they had worked on. Their expertise and track record truly impressed me. This program continues to inspire me to strive for greatness, pushing me to create amazing things, learn extensively, and enhance my skills in my chosen field.”

Press Start is open to Saudi Individuals of any age and educational background who have a demonstrable interest in game development and are available to work in Riyadh. Applications are open until July 7, 2023, at 23:59 AST.

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