The Finnish gaming monopoly, Veikkaus, has long seen huge potential in the foreign gaming market, which is paradoxical in itself that at the same time, with the help of the state, it has tried to keep others away from its own market. This has changed, however, according to the latest outputs in various sources.

Fennica Gaming is a new company founded by Veikkaus, which was created entirely with business-to-business in mind. When the new Lotteries Act came into force in Finland earlier this year, a lot of things that had been simmering under the surface started to roll. Fennica Gaming Ltd. was established “hidden” from the public right at the beginning of January 2022.

Fennica Gaming immediately signed an agreement with the Lotteries Entertainment Innovation Alliance, which will allow Fennica Gaming to start offering its own products to Norsk Tipping, among others. The products that have been sold to Norway are eArpa games and have been delivered there since April.

Svenska Spel has also already launched the Nokkapokka game on its website, also in April. According to Veikkaus itself, the experience of this cooperation has been very good. The games have apparently done well as part of the other offerings. According to Veikkaus, Fennica Gaming’s game offering also supports its customers’ objectives in promoting and maintaining responsibility.

Opportunities of the new Lotteries Act

Whether it is a 5 euro deposit (5 euron talletus in Finnish) or more, gamblers will in the long term benefit from the new legislation. On the other hand, at the moment it seems like the main beneficiary is in fact the monopolitized company Veikkaus.

The new Lotteries Act has enabled Veikkaus to do a lot of things that the average bourgeois would have missed out on. There has been no media coverage of such activities, but there has clearly been a desire to move the business forward in secret, or at least hidden from the public. If one is not careful, the Fennica Gaming casinos will start to proliferate quite unexpectedly!

Why is this? Our editorial view is that Veikkaus’ activities in Finland have been justified for ages by responsibility and the prevention of gambling damage. Apparently, however, the company is not quite so interested in responsibility as it is in entering the international competition, where game manufacturers and suppliers are rolling in big bucks with their business.

A necessary reform

The digital gaming market has long been undergoing a huge transformation. According to Veikkaus, by early 2022, gaming had already shifted more and more to digital channels. Despite its monopoly position, Veikkaus is in competition with foreign casinos.

According to data from Veikkaus, online gambling outside its products has increased by more than 10% in just six months compared to the previous period. Veikkaus’ business has already taken a hit to the extent that it now sees the licensing system as the only smart option.

So the government’s pay-blocks are not a short-cut to happiness, as casino professionals across Europe have been saying from the start.It will be interesting to see how Veikkaus and the government continue to justify why the licensing system is now suddenly the best and most responsible option. It may be that, at the same time, a large part of the Finnish public will finally understand what a fool’s errand the whole monopoly system and its maintenance have been all these years.

Looking to the future

It is of course difficult for Veikkaus, like any other casino company, to predict future events in absolute terms. What makes it difficult to predict at this stage is when the consumer behavior of players will return to what it was before the koruna, or if it ever will again.

It is also too early to say what impact the Veikka’s responsibility measures will have on people’s gambling behavior. And of course, the impact of the economic and geopolitical situation on demand and consumption patterns cannot be ignored.

We here at definitely think that Veikkaus’ new policy is completely double standards at the moment. There is a desire to keep the home market firmly closed to all competition, but at the same time, under the surface, ways are being prepared to compete for massive profits from the business in foreign markets.

We do not, therefore, personally attach much value to this subsidiary and its activities at the moment. However, this may change when Finland gets its own licensing system and the market is liberalized. Then Fennica Gaming will certainly have a more than justified place and position.