top of page
Search

The marketing of gambling in Finland has increased

Administrative Court issued a decision on TV advertising


An increasing number of foreign gambling companies are directing their marketing efforts towards Finland, where gambling promotion is still heavily regulated and essentially monopolized by state-owned company Veikkaus. Finnish local newspapers have reported that, especially, young people are susceptible to gambling company advertising. The local newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported during the summer of 2023 that a Finnish-licensed Estonian radio company had been advertising a Maltese online casino on its channel. Such advertising is considered unequivocally illegal as there is no legal basis for it in Finland. Ethical questions surrounding online casinos have also been a part of recent news coverage.


There is also a recent decision from the Administrative Court concerning gambling regulation (April 19, 2023, 2280/2023). It pertained to a television company located in France that was advertising gambling on a Finnish television channel based on the Lotteries Act. The Administrative Court determined that the advertising was part of the television broadcast, which meant that the Police Board's prohibition on airing the advertisement had effectively meant the prohibition of the entire television broadcast. Prohibiting the entire television broadcast would have amounted to preventing the continued transmission of the TV program, which would have been contrary to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. As a result, the Police Board couldn’t prohibit the transmission of television broadcasts coming from outside Finland. The Administrative Court's decision is yet without legal force.


The Ministry of the Interior is currently working on a project to assess the implementation of gambling in Finland and the monopoly system governing it, as well as alternative models. It is expected that Veikkaus' monopoly on gambling will be partially opened to a licensed system in 2026 and advertising is one of the key questions when new system is being designed. Currently, advertising must take into account the latest news and cases concerning gambling regulation.


We, the Finnish Procurement Lawyers, actively monitor the development of the gambling system in Finland and the public discourse surrounding it. If you have any questions concerning current advertising rules in Finland, we are happy to answer your questions and offer deeper analysis of advertising rules in force.


Comments


bottom of page