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Gambling license conditions must not be discriminatory

According to the Programme of Finnish Government, online gambling markets will be opened trough new license system by January 1st, 2026 at the latest. One key question to be resolved in terms of transitioning to a license system is what kind of conditions are set for obtaining a license. Although there has not been a lot of detailed public discussion about them, European Union legislation sets limits to the conditions to be set for obtaining a license.


According to the Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), ‘restrictions on freedom to provide services within the Union shall be prohibited in respect of nationals of Member States who are established in a Member State other than that of the person for whom the services are intended’. Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed in its ruling that TFEU precludes national provisions that set discriminatory conditions on obtaining a license to provide online gambling games. For example, reserving online gaming licenses only to national operators is clearly precluded by the TFEU. CJEU has also ruled that national rules cannot be implemented in such way that they prevent or make it difficult for nationals of other Member States to obtain the license.


Finnish Procurement Lawyers Attorneys are following the renewal of the Finnish gambling market. We will keep the readers of our newsletter up to date as new information becomes available. We are also happy to help with questions concerning opening of Finnish online gambling markets and thereby new business opportunities in Finland.

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