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How Finland Became an Online Gambling Powerhouse

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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.

Compliance Updates

BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington Statement Following Parliamentary Debate on Affordability Checks

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BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington has issued the following statement after MPs debated the impact of affordability checks.

“Yesterday’s debate on the impact of affordability checks on British racing has shone a light on a hugely important issue for our sport.

“It was vital that MPs were given proper parliamentary time to thoroughly interrogate the Government’s proposals and we were encouraged by the high turnout for a Westminster Hall debate.

“Many MPs made valuable contributions to the debate, and we are sure that Sports Minister Stuart Andrew will have listened with interest to the views expressed.

“From MPs of all parties and all sides of the debate, there was a clear recognition of the need for the Government to protect and support British racing when reviewing gambling legislation.

“If our sport is to remain a healthy industry, supporting jobs in the rural economy and remaining competitive with our international rivals, we hope that Government will heed this advice.

“We were encouraged by Minister Andrew ruling out the use of job titles and postcodes in the implementation of enhanced spending checks and confirming that these changes will at least be subject to a genuine pilot.

“We will continue to make the case into the heart of Government that the impact of these checks both on our industry and racing bettors needs to be carefully considered and look forward to further discussions on this important issue for British racing with the Gambling Commission and DCMS.”

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Asia

SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Wins Innovative E-sports Product at SPiCE South Asia 2024

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SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Wins Innovative E-sports Product at SPiCE South Asia 2024
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SOFTSWISS, a global tech expert with over 15 years of experience in iGaming, announces the triumph of its Sportsbook at the SPiCE South Asia Eventus Awards 2024. The solution clinched the Innovative E-sports Product of the Year title. 

The SPiCE South Asia Eventus Awards brought together industry leaders to celebrate excellence and innovation within the gaming landscape in India and Sri Lanka. This year, the event focused on regulatory updates, regional gaming trends, and best practices. The Innovative E-sports Product of the Year award honours the most innovative product that has significantly impacted the esports community.

This accolade solidifies the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook position as a reliable sports betting software platform with a gamification focus, which can be seamlessly integrated with any existing casino platform on the market. It celebrates the product’s unique and innovative features that enhance the overall esports experience for players, fans, and industry professionals.

Last year, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team observed a significant rise in esports. This category became one of the top four most favoured sports by Bet Count, with Counter-Strike leading the pack.

The  award is a prominent edition to the product success story, including its recent achievements:

  • Obtaining the GLI-33 certificate and MGA licence
  • Partnership with the Sportradar Integrity Exchange for real-time monitoring and detection of suspicious betting behaviour
  • Integration with the Game Aggregator and the Jackpot Aggregator via a single API for more gamification and jackpot opportunities
  • Improvement of iFrame Authentication and Deposit Forms for third-party clients.

Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, expresses his delight: “We are incredibly proud to achieve the ‘Innovative Esports Product of the Year’ title. This recognition reflects the tireless efforts and dedication of the entire team, who strive to understand player needs, develop our product, and deploy creative approaches in our solutions to keep pace with the dynamic world of iGaming and esports in particular. I want to extend our gratitude to our reliable partner, Oddin.gg, for their invaluable collaboration, which played a significant role in this achievement. This award is a powerful motivator for us to continue pushing boundaries and delivering exceptional experiences for players worldwide.”

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

 

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Compliance Updates

Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry

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Ensuring Integrity: The Role of Assurance in the Gambling Industry
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By Salvador Garcia-Noblejas, Senior Regulatory Assurance Services at ComplianceOne Group

The gambling industry has its origins in the ancient period, and different types of games are found in almost every culture and civilization.

Over the last few years, we have witnessed an immense transformation, clearly boosted by technological developments. Among these changes, online gambling has grown rapidly, and with this new non-face-to-face reality, regulation and regulators have also embraced new ways to protect players, businesses, and the overall economy. Regulators have the responsibility to set the framework of common rules that define what is right and wrong, the means to protect all parties, and the tools that must be used when anyone does not behave as expected.

Assurance in a world of global risks

It would be inaccurate to assume that regulatory assurance’s only goal is to ensure that operators operate in a fair and transparent manner and meet their legal obligations. On the contrary, assurance also includes helping businesses understand the risks involved in the industry where they operate, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and setting measures to mitigate those risks.

Assurance’s starting point consists of an interview phase where tailor-made questionnaires serve better understanding the reality to each operator and its actual circumstances. Once the assurance assessment is complete, a detailed action plan assists the operator in fixing any identified gaps, improving policies and procedures, and obtaining the maximum financial gain from refining their processes, products, and operations.

As part of the fast transformation of the gambling industry, with competitive new products, platforms, advertisements, and market expansion, we must not forget that bad actors and illegal practices also develop. This is the moment to ask ourselves if we are ready to face whatever can harm our operations. The most efficient way to know is carrying out a thorough audit of policies, procedures, and processes. This approach will certainly save operators from potential harm to their clients, products, brands, and finances.

Audit readiness

Regulators focus on legislation, supervision, and enforcement. All stakeholders must comply with gambling regulations if they want to offer products and services or provide a safe environment to their clients. An important part of the gambling legal system is the fact that the industry is continuously overseen to ensure that all actors adhere to the established rules. At this point, operators need to ask themselves how ready they are to show sufficient evidence that their operations adhere to the law.

Smart operators will choose to comply with as many rules and regulations as their business is capable of, and they will ensure that records are properly kept. Company leadership is essential in ensuring compliance as it contributes to collaboration between departments and having policies and procedures that make the business run within the parameters of the legislation.

Lessons learned

In recent years, some highly publicized enforcement actions, including fines and penalties, license suspension, and revocation, have alerted the whole gambling industry. From such cases, there have been increasing efforts in reviewing processes, improving systems, and growing compliance departments.

Experience in the gambling industry has taught us that it is crucial to have a detailed understanding of the regulations that govern the relationship between operators and players. Where knowledge has been insufficient, inaccurate, or out of date, some business decisions have led to unwanted consequences, sometimes catastrophic ones.

Knowledge, a solid compliance culture, strong procedures, and willingness are the formula to be ready for a regulatory audit.

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