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Economics of Gambling in Finland

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Their are three primary gaming organizations in Finland, each which holds a monopoly over the provision of gambling services in their particular area. Besides the three state monopolies, not-for-profit organizations are permitted to run bingo operations.

The National Lottery, Veikkaus, has sole responsibility for offering lotteries and off-course horserace betting. Suomen Hippos is the organization charged with promoting horse breeding and racing, and it also operates on-course betting through Fintoto Oy, a fully owned subsidiary. The company Raha-automaattiyhdistys (Slot Machine Association), commonly known as RAY, operates casinos and gaming machines in Finland. RAY was established in 1938 to raise funds through gaming operations to support Finnish health and welfare organizations. RAY has an exclusive right in Finland to operate slot machines and casino table games, and to run a casino.

Finnish Gaming Operators and Revenues 2002

  • Operator >>> Good Cause >>> Monopoly forms of gaming >>> Turnover €m >>> GGRs €m >>> Turnover € per capita >>> GGRs € per Capita
  • Veikkaus >>> Support sports, physical education, science & art >>> – Lotteries/Sports Betting, – Horserace Betting (off course fixed odds only) >>> 1,090 >>> 357 >>> 210 >>> 69
  • RAY >>> Support voluntary public health & welfare organisations >>> – Slot machines, – Low-stake roulette & Blackjack in restaurants, – Casino operations >>> 603 385 >>> 116 >>> 74
  • Fintoto OY >>> Promote horse breeding & racing >>> – Betting, – pari mutuel betting >>> 153 >>> 25 >>> 29 >>> 4.4
  • Private Associations >>> Support sports, the handicapped, etc >>> – Bingo operation (cash prizes not allowed) >>> 25 >>> 2 >>> 5 >>> 0.4
  • Total >>>  >>>  >>> 1,871 >>> 769 >>> 360 >>> 148

Source: Adapted from the GBGC Report

Finnish Gaming Operators and Revenues 2001

  • Operator >>> Good Cause >>> Monopoly forms of gaming >>> Turnover €m >>> GGRs €m >>> Turnover € per capita >>> GGRs € per Capita
  • Veikkaus >>> Support sports, physical education, science & art >>> – Lotteries/Sports Betting, – Horserace Betting (off course fixed odds only) >>> 1,056 >>> 377 >>> 205 >>> 73
  • RAY >>> Support voluntary public health & welfare organisations >>> – Slot machines, – Low-stake roulette & Blackjack in restaurants, – Casino operations >>> 581 >>> 383 >>> 112 >>> 74
  • Fintoto OY >>> Promote horse breeding & racing >>> – Betting, – pari mutuel betting >>> 131 >>> 23 >>> 25 >>> 5
  • Private Associations >>> Support sports, the handicapped, etc >>> – Bingo operation (cash prizes not allowed) >>> 25 >>> 2 >>> 5 >>> 0.4
  • Total >>>  >>>  >>> 1,803 >>> 785 >>> 347 >>> 152

Source: Adapted from the GBGC Report

All gaming activities in Finland are subject to a gaming license granted by the Council of State. The license term is five years. According to the Lotteries Act, a license can be granted separately for:

  1. operating lotteries, betting, and pools games,
  2. keeping slot machines available for use, operating casino games, and game casino activities, and
  3. operating totalisator games.

The gaming licenses are granted as exclusive rights with only one license being granted per each type of gaming referred to in the Lotteries Act.

The Finnish system of exclusive right is based on the need to guarantee the legal protection of those who engage in gaming activities, to prevent abuse and crime and to reduce gamingrelated social detriments.

Veikkaus share of the total net proceeds of the gaming market (turnover less prize payout to winners) is 48%. The Finnish Slot Machine Association RAY, which holds the exclusive right to operate slot machines, casino games and casinos, has a market share of 48.4%, and the share of Fintoto, which operates horse-betting games, is 3.6 per cent.

Finnish Gambling Market by Operators Market Share 2004:

111111111111111 Gambling_Market-Finland

Source: Centre for the Study of gambling, Salford, own analysis.

Gambling industry operators do not have to pay VAT in Finland. They do, however, have a number of gambling specific taxes and fees that need to be paid.

Annual Gambling Specific Tax Paid to Finnish National Board (in € millions):

  • Year >>> Veikkaus Oy (lottery & betting) >>> Ray (casino & outside casino) >>> Fintoto Oy (totalisator betting) >>> Total
  • 2000 >>> 54.1 >>> 17 >>> 6 >>> 79.5
  • 2001 >>> 53.3 >>> 29 >>> 6.6 >>> 91
  • 2002 >>> 54.5 >>> 42 >>> 7.6 >>> 106.5
  • 2003 >>> 57.8 >>> 52 8 >>>.3 >>> 120
  • 2004 >>> 59.9 >>> 52 >>> 8.7 >>> 127

In addition, gambling operators pay a supervisory fee to the Ministry of the Interior. Veikkaus Oy and Ray Oy pay 45% each and Fintoto pays remaining 10%.

Supervisory Payments by Gambling Operators 2003 & 2004 (in € thousands):

  • Year >>> Veikkaus >>> Oy (lottery & betting) >>> Ray (casino & outside casino) >>> Fintoto Oy (totalisator betting) >>> Total
  • 2003 >>> 150.8 >>> 150.8 >>> 33.5 >>> 335.15
  • 2004 >>> 173.7 >>> 173.7 >>> 38.6 >>> 386.05

Additional Good Causes Contribution by Gaming Operators 2000-2004 (in € million):

  • Year >>> Veikkaus >>> Oy (lottery & betting) >>> Ray (casino & outside casino) >>> Fintoto Oy (totalisator betting) >>> Total
  • 2000 >>> 379 >>> 346 >>> 5 >>> 730
  • 2001 >>> 377 >>> 377 >>> 6 >>> 760
  • 2002 >>> 356 >>> 401 >>> 6 >>> 763
  • 2003 >>> 370 >>> 406 >>> 7 >>> 783
  • 2004 >>> 376 >>> 415 >>> 7 >>> 798

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Finnish National Lottery (Veikkaus Oy)

The Number of FTEs by Gaming Operators 2000-2004:

  • Year >>> Veikkaus >>> Oy (lottery & betting) >>> Ray Oy (casino & outside casino) >>> Fintoto Oy (totalisator betting) >>> Total
  • 2000 >>> 270 >>> 1236 >>> n/a >>> 1506
  • 2001 >>> 289 >>> 1284 >>> n/a >>> 1573
  • 2002 >>> 300 >>> 1154 >>> 23 >>> 1477
  • 2003 >>> 324 >>> 1097 >>> 23 >>> 1444
  • 2004 >>> 332 >>> 1120 >>> 23 >>> 1475

© European Union

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