Judging from a sporting point of view, Finland definitely stands out from the crowd. If the rest of Europe is mesmerized by football and tennis, Finns show little interest in the so-called ‘king of sports’. Instead, they focus on ice-hockey and pesapallo, Finland’s true national sports. As a matter of fact, Finland has won all the Pesapallo World Cups since the first edition in 1992. Sport is a way of living for many Finns so any activity related to sports, including sports betting, is naturally common. That’s why, if you’re a fan of betting sites, Finland is the perfect place to be. Taking into consideration the strong economy and the relaxed attitude towards gambling altogether, it’s no surprise that over 30% of all Finnish adults engage in sports betting weekly. Furthermore, the state-owned betting companies donate a large part of their profit to charities and social welfare organisations. So, betting at the best betting sites Finland has to offer is not just a pastime activity, it’s also a civic duty of some sort.
Despite an air-tight monopoly held by the state-run agencies for each branch of gambling, the landscape is quite friendly for other betting sites in Finland. They have the Fintoto OY for horse racing, RAY for table games and slot machines and, finally, Oy Veikkaus AB for sports betting and state lottery. These agencies were established as early as 1966 with the nation’s first Lottery Act. With this act in place, betting and other forms of gambling continued to thrive without a real need for amendments or updates. However, after Finland joined the European Union in 1995, correlated with the boom of online betting and gambling in the early 2000s, an update to the existing legislation was required.
It was only in 2011 when a new Lotteries Act was issued. This act stated that all Finland betting sites needed a license to operate within the country. However, the only license issued was for the state-owned bookies, thus creating a legal monopoly. Naturally, the best betting sites in Finland alongside the EU asked for a more liberal market, however, the Finnish authorities justified the monopoly as the only way to protect those engaged in betting. However, the law does not stipulate any consequences for punters enjoying Finnish betting sites that are not officially licensed. This means that all Suomi punters can enjoy the services of big international bookies without worrying about any kind of repercussions. So, for all our readers asking themselves “is sports betting legal in Finland?”, you can rest assured that betting on any site is not legally persecuted.
Since the legal bookmakers in Finland were not extraordinary when it comes to odds and betting markets diversity, international betting sites came in to fill that void. And they successfully did so by delivering very advantageous odds and vibrant betting offers including ice hockey and pesapallo competitions. Furthermore, Finland betting companies show their interest towards this region by fully translating their website in Finnish and providing customer support for local punters as well. The bonuses offered by international bookies is another plus compared to Veikkaus. With bigger signup offers and reload bonuses and free bets, these sportsbooks manage to appear vastly more appealing to Finnish players.
With such a relaxed attitude from Finnish authorities when it comes to accessing foreign betting sites operating in Finland, there’s absolutely no reason for punters to worry about wagering on international bookies. The Finns have so much faith in the way they organise things that unlicensed bookies aren’t even blocked by the Internet Service Providers, as other nations have done. However, if you’re not pleased with the licensed Finnish bookmakers, always make sure to turn towards those international bookies that own a license from a reputable regulatory body, such as UKGC or MGA. And, while the Finnish gambling authority is permissive when it comes to foreign bookmakers offering their services within the country, there were recent talks about banning illegal gambling advertising on local radio and TV. Seeing that the state can not be pressured either from Veikkaus or any foreign betting site, it is likely that Finland will be an entirely altered betting landscape within the next few years.
Just like with accessing foreign bookmakers, there are no restrictions to worry about when it comes to the payment options Finns can use to pay at online sportsbooks. All the popular international payment options are available and players are free to choose the ones that best fit their needs. Ewallets remain the payment option of choice with Neteler and Skrill being the most popular international examples, however, there’s a wide offer of local payment options as well. Euteller, Klarna, Nordea, Zimpler, Siru and Trustly are some of the most used local payment options. Designed to work excellently with Finnish bank accounts, these payment methods can be used for both deposits and withdrawals. So, there you have it, a complete answer for anyone asking “what deposit and withdrawal options can I use as a Finnish player?”.
Betting exchanges are, in many ways, very similar to sportsbooks. So, the same relaxed attitude applies for exchanges as well. They operate freely across Finland and deliver their services to Finnish punters. Betfair is the best such operation in the world with names like Smarkets, Matchbook or Betdaq closely following it. The main advantage for a betting exchange over a traditional sportsbook comes in the odds department. Since betting exchanges facilitate the backing or laying of bets proposed by other users on the platform. So, as long as there’s someone that decides to either back or lay your bet, there’s an opportunity to make a profit.
If you’re playing at any other bookmaker apart from the state-owned one, you should address to the regulatory authority for any complaints complaint or dispute. Also, we encourage our readers to let us know in case they have any issues with the bookies we’re recommending as we can help with making your voice heard.