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Best Online Casinos for Players from Finland
Gambling in Finland is always in a minor state of flux as the authorities attempt to fine-tune legislation and enforcement to protect citizens as well as the government monopoly's revenues.
All legal gambling in the country, whether land-based or online is now overseen by Veikkaus Ltd, under the Finnish Lotteries Act (as amended 1047/2001) after the three separate state-owned gambling operators officially merged on 1 January 2017 after about two years of planning.
Veikkaus now oversees their former remit of local betting and the national lottery as well as the casino industry formerly regulated by Raha-automaattiyhdistys (RAY) and pari-mutuel betting which was formerly administered by Fintoto. The three state monopolies merged in order to reduce competition and to reduce potential harm to citizens.
Indeed, Finland has been able to keep the European Commission at bay with this strategy in order to remain one of the few monopolies in the otherwise free market. The monopoly has been found to be justified as the best way to protect public order and to prevent the negative impacts of gambling.
There are no gambling licenses issued or available in Finland as the state monopoly of Veikkaus is responsible for all state-sanctioned gambling. Operating under the Lotteries Act, it answers to the Ministry of the Interior with the National Police Board as the enforcer of gambling law.
Veikkaus is levied with a monthly tax of 12% on all gross gambling revenue. All profits are used to support sports, education, arts, health, social welfare, science, and recreational activities.
Ålands Penningautomatförening (Paf) is a separate gaming company founded in 1966 that is located on the autonomous Åland Islands. Paf came online in 1999 and also generates profit for the benefit of society.
While the government controls all legal gambling in Finland, there are no laws specifically preventing citizens from playing at any offshore casino they choose.
As of early 2021, the authorities have not resorted to internet blocking or payment blocking to keep citizen gambling money restricted to the monopoly ecosystem. However, the Ministry of Interior has done preliminary studies on the possibility.
Tips for Finnish Online Gambling
Since Finns only have the protection of the government when playing at Paf or a venue operated by Veikkaus, it's of paramount importance to select an online casino wisely. Navigating among the thousands of websites out there for a safe and comfortable place to play presents several potentially significant risks to your money and data security.
We've condensed the potential pitfalls found in the vast landscape to a handful of awarenesses that will seem like common sense, but that can be easily overlooked in the excitement of the hunt for a bonus or even simply to play online wherever you choose to.
It's important to:
- Know the operation by reading trusted reviews
- Read and understand the terms and conditions
- Check industry blacklists
- Know the license provider
Transparent, unbiased, critical, and player-focused online casino reviews are not always found at the top of the search engine results. Many sites will simply focus on the positive and gloss over the negative aspects of gaming sites in the hope of getting you to click through so they can be paid for a referral.
The marketing model is fine as long as the sites you visit present the facts so players can make their own decisions based on what they learn. In addition to our site, we trust the following sites to deliver the unvarnished facts for players in Finland:
Every casino out there has its own terms and conditions. Some sites within a group will simply copy and paste them from one to another or have a pre-filled template wherein they only have to change the name of the casino.
For the most part, all sites have the same basic rules, but the devil is in the details. This is why it is so important to...
Read the terms and conditions. While the general terms may look overwhelming at first glance, there are only a few things that may be in them that change much from site to site, and from operator to operator. Most of what will concern you will be found in the Bonus Terms if you play with a bonus.
A few operators will "hide" important terms in the general section. These can include the minimum or maximum cashouts, rollover required with or without a bonus, fees for some withdrawal methods, as well as terms against advantage play or 'bonus abuse'.
Without the protection of the National Police Board, you need to be as sure as you can be that a site is deserving of your trust. Bad actors are out there, just waiting for someone they can fleece with unfair games, poor management, predatory terms, or simply no intention of paying players when they “win too much”.
We and other trusted portals keep track of those sites and place them on a blacklist. Most casinos that find their way into the shame zone will stay there as long as they are in business.
Occasionally, new management or simply a business decision to provide fair trade along with clearing any wreckage of the past and proving themselves as a now-trusted operation will earn an operation a second look. When a casino operation truly redeems itself, we let you know that too.
Read our blacklist and those at other trusted sites and stay away from casinos that appear on them. They're simply not worth the risk.
Best slots for Finnish players
The best news for slot players in Finland is that Veikkhaus has a long history of providing quality content at their online "store". Beginning with Playtech, the operator has continued to add quality content from NetEnt, Red Tiger, Yggdrasil, and even IGT. More providers are sure to be added as time goes on.
Many of the games found on land are also found online, including jackpot slots. Unfortunately, the Megaways games have not made it to land machines as of early 2021.
While the game selection is undeniably good at the Veikkaus online gaming site, some players may want more variety. If that is the case, they are free to frequent any online venue of their choice, and if they've done their homework properly, the experience will be just as safe, sane, and possibly even more profitable.
In addition to...
- Red Tiger
There are literally hundreds of other online game studios available to players in Finland.
With the advent of widely deployed remote game servers as well as game aggregators, almost any online casino can carry almost any licensed game from small and big developers all over the world.
Live Dealer Options for Players in Finland
Playtech opened a studio for live games at RAY headquarters in the summer of 2014. Somewhere along the way through time, it seems to have disappeared from the online gaming site. However, in March of 2017, Veikkaus launched the first international poker liquidity network (Finland/Austria) on Playtech's poker platform in association with win2day.
Live dealer casino games are now available at most online casinos. The live games are streamed from remote studios and tables on land casino floors throughout the world. The live dealer suites are integrated right into the gaming site and in most cases, they share the same wallet or cashier function.
Live dealer game providers like Evolution Gaming provide some Suomi dealers and tables. The games are usually well labeled in the lobby. There are also other native language croupiers and table games such as Dansk blackjack, roulette, etc. Otherwise, most live dealer games are presented in English.[table listing casinos that have live dealer and accept Finland.]
Offshore Licensed Sites
Players in Finland have the best of both worlds. In addition to a highly regulated state monopoly, Finns are allowed to play anywhere else in the world they want to.
Many casino regulators, especially monopolies, only provide protections for players at state-sanctioned sites. That goes even further in Finland - as Veikkaus is a state monopoly, the site is only available to Finnish citizens and only when they are physically located in the country when they log in. This is not necessarily a restriction placed by the Finnish government, but by the EU since Finland is a closed market that allows no competition from EU businesses, Viekkaus is not allowed to operate in the free market.
Other regulators, including most of the European licensing agencies, extend their protections to players anywhere the games can be played. Finns are allowed to play at Malta-licensed sites as are all others in Europe with liberalized gambling, but players in the US cannot access the EU casinos for real money play. In many cases, the games from EU-market licensed developers are not available either - regardless of a casino's licensing jurisdiction.
For this reason, under the current frameworks and regime, players in the USA, for example, will never see games from Novomatic, Microgaming, or several other developers licensed in Europe at a Curacao-licensed casino.
Players in Finland really do have the best of both worlds.
Casino Trust and Security
Since most Finns who play online already play at the fully regulated Veikkaus...
"In 2019, 77.9% of the respondents had gambled at least one of the game types offered by Veikkaus. On the other hand, 6.2% (approx. 231,000 people) had gambled at least one non-monopoly online game." THL (.pdf)
...and since Finns practice good cyber hygiene as well as rely on a robust National Cyber Security Strategy, they don't have too many worries when they gamble online.
Likewise, the average person will have a safe and secure gambling experience if they've followed the suggestions above and maintain good personal habits as a matter of practice.
Licensed online casinos available to players in Finland all have a few things in common, including encrypted secure socket layer data transfer, and secure banking systems. You can read the privacy protection and fair gaming sections of the sites to find out more about how your personal information is kept safe.
Suffice to say, it is the rare rogue actor that will share anything more than an email address with a sister-site, and only then if you have opted in for sharing.
The site's gaming license should be visible and clickable on the footer of the webpage. Depending on where it is licensed, the certificate may show links or reference numbers to all game providers' online licenses.
From those links, you may be able to find the third-party testing houses that have certified the games and the random number generators behind them. In some cases, you will find a link to iTechLabs, BMM, or another auditor such as eCOGRA that will allow you to see the test methodology and results.
In nearly all cases these links are redundant and are provided for a player's peace of mind, as the licensor has already confirmed all these elements of safety and accountability.
Banking Options for Finnish Players
Finland enjoys a reputation for developing and implementing many advanced fintech solutions. That, along with the government's current policy of not implementing payment blocking, creates a situation where Finns have some of the best choices in the world for depositing at online casinos.
Nearly 80% of commerce in Finland is conducted by cashless payment. In descending order, the way those payments are accomplished are with prepaid cards, credit and debit cards, mobile payments, e-Wallets, and bank transfers.
While payments to Veikkaus are allowed by many Finnish banks, the company prefers to keep payment methods limited, perhaps in order to more easily set limits and track spending.
However, gaming sites that are licensed offshore have very few restrictions so all of the common cashless methods, as well as cryptocurrencies, are available options.
When depositing at a venue for the first time, it is suggested that you also check the withdrawal methods available to you, and consider the various fees if any. Not all deposit methods will also work for withdrawals at all casinos. For instance, if you deposit using a prepaid card, your only option for a withdrawal may be a bank wire or electronic funds transfer to your bank.
Since Bitcoin transactions are legal to use in Finland and VAT exempt, many players who are familiar with cryptocurrencies prefer to deposit and withdraw their funds using them or other coins. Transacting with a casino in BTC is basically the same as with any other method as far as the cashier system is concerned. Instant deposits and withdrawals are often offered.
Depositing and Withdrawing when in Finland
The site you visit will have a variety of payment methods to choose from in the cashier. The selection may vary from venue to venue depending on which payment processors they use. Just like any other product or service you purchase online, you may have to shop around a bit to find a venue that strikes just the right balance for you as an individual.
Credit and Debit Cards
Visa Debit, Visa Credit, Visa Electron, MasterCard, and Maestro are popular deposit methods. Many sites will also allow you to withdraw winnings to your Visa card and a few will payout to Mastercard, but not as many. Payments to cards from a casino can be one of the slowest methods, just slightly quicker than a bank wire transfer.
Deposits are instant and free of any fees with these methods.
Prepaid Cards and Payment Vouchers
For those who prefer for personal reasons to be among the "non-banked" or simply wish to be a bit more anonymous in their gambling activities, prepaid cards and payment vouchers may be a good alternative for deposits.
Paysafecards can be purchased from retailers such as R Kioski, Neste K, K Market, K CityMarket, and K Supermarket.
If one of your reasons for visiting an offshore casino is to escape deposit limits, this may not be a good option for you as the maximum purchase price, balance, and deposit limits are much lower than some other payment methods.
One of the most convenient eCommerce payment methods is the eWallet. Neteller and Skrill are the best known, but PayPal can also function as an electronic wallet. Instant deposits and instantly processed withdrawals are some of the advantages of using an eWallet for gambling.
When a bank account is linked to an e-wallet funds transfers are simple and taken care of for you. There are also many other ways to fund an e-wallet such as using a voucher, prepaid card, or to accept a transfer from friends or family.
PayPal works in several different ways from an e-wallet to a mobile payment app to business or personal debit or credit card accounts. While PayPal is very popular in Finland and a great way to deposit at PayPal casinos, the Danish mobile app MobilePay is the most popular mobile payment method in Finland, according to Statista.
In order to discover all of the methods available at any particular venue, a visit to the cashier or banking section would be in order. Once logged in the site's geolocation software might present only the methods available to you at your current location. If not, simply matching up the methods you use with the methods offered will help you find the best options.
The newer Siirto works along with your Euteller app for deposits and withdrawals from all major Finnish banks.
Euteller is possibly the most familiar method to Finns for bank wire transfers. Citizens have found the product to be trustworthy, reliable, and simple for over a decade.
To transact with the casino using Euteller, simply choose the option in the cashier, choose your bank, login, confirm the transaction with your PIN, and the funds should appear in your casino account immediately.
Euteller is a licensed Payment Institution supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA).
The following banks support Euteller in Finland:
- Danske Bank
- OP Bank
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency deposits
With so many other options available to play at online casinos in Finland, there may not be a great incentive for the uninitiated to delve into Bitcoin or other crypto transactions. However, a couple of advantages to using virtual currency are that deposits and withdrawals can be next to instant, and some operators are willing to increase either the amount you can deposit with a bonus, the bonus percentage, or both
Cryptocurrencies offer several cost-saving advantages to operators so they can pass those savings on to customers if they choose to in the form of higher bonuses, higher RTP on slots, or offer other incentives to bank with their preferred method.
Casino Withdrawals for Finland
Thanks to the government's current position of non-interference in citizen's online banking and playing, the methods shown in the casino cashier should all be available to Finnish gamblers.
Bitcoin and eWallet withdrawals are highly recommended where they are available, but some operators will not allow a welcome bonus or may place more restrictions within the terms when you deposit with Neteller or Skrill.
Once your account has been verified, the venue's internal pending and processing times must be factored in along with the withdrawal method when you try to determine how long it will take to enjoy your winnings.
Some offshore-licensed sites will payout to an eWallet or cryptocurrency wallet in near real-time, but it may take 3-7 business days to have access to funds sent to your bank by wire transfer or to a card you have deposited with.
Some sites may leave your winnings in pending status anywhere from 24-72 hours - either because they are simply so busy paying other players or they hope you will reverse the withdrawal and lose the profits. The former is less likely than the latter.
Responsible Gambling for Finland
The percentage of Finnish citizens who gamble at least once each year is 78.4% (74.5% of women and 82.2% of men).
A small percentage of Finns, about 3%, experience gambling problems. Veikkaus conducts surveys at least twice each year and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) conducts even more robust studies every four years. The number may vacillate a little from survey to survey but it seems to stay right around 3%.
However, not everyone who exhibits problem behavior actually has a problem. The number of people determined to be at risk for a gambling problem is about one in ten. Year in and year out, the actual number of people who develop a problem remains stable or decreases.
About 2.5% of those who gamble account for one half of the total gambling expenditure in the country.
Veikkaus helps citizens prevent problem gambling in myriad ways. They also maintain a process for monitoring the effectiveness of those measures and implement new strategies when appropriate. For instance, as of 2021 slot machine players will no longer be able to use temporary gambling cards and must register their identities in order to play the games.
No one under 18 is permitted to gamble. All game ideas are assessed with higher risk games having common limits for all players. Rules, pay tables, and the theoretical return to player percentages (RTP) are displayed. No false prospects of winning are allowed in marketing.
Information on problem gambling is made available and casinos may ban players, and self-management tools such as game history and limits are easily accessible.
Veikkaus spends about three million euros a year on education, harm reduction, and the funding of Peluuri one-on-one consulting services.
Other online casinos provide responsible gambling services as well. The level and quality of those resources depend on how proactive an operator chooses to be or the guidelines overseen by their licensing authority.
Online operators licensed in Malta are obligated to deny entry to minors, allow players to set time limits and deposit limits, and to exclude themselves for a specific amount of time or indefinitely.
In general, casinos may not promote gaming in a way that promises an increase in personal prestige, focuses on the success of other players, or is otherwise used to exploit the vulnerable. Certain advertising limits can be placed on operators such as those that were imposed during the Covid crisis in order to protect people in a vulnerable situation.
Operators in other jurisdictions have more or less oversight when implementing measures, depending on where they are licensed.
Individual operators, wherever they are licensed, can set their own higher standards in responsible gambling than those dictated by their licensor. Some tools integrated into the website may include:
- Responsible gambling guidelines
- Transaction and gaming history
- Self-risk assessment tests
- Reality checks/timed reminders
- Periodic financial limits (daily, weekly, monthly deposit amount or session time limits)
- Time outs from access, depositing, or being marketed to
- Self-exclusion for a period of time or forever
- Help and support (Gamblock, Gamblers Anonymous, etc.)
Bonuses for Finland Casinos
Finns will find the same bonus offers as players anywhere else. Many sites actively promote to Finnish players so there may be no-deposit offers such as chips or spins, deposit bonuses, and other incentives to try the games and withdrawal process.
Nearly all "free" money will come with terms and conditions such as the number of times it must be played through, maximum bet size, game restrictions, and a maximum cashable amount at a minimum.
Finnish Online Gambling FAQ
Are online casinos legal in Finland?
Yes, but only one. The state monopoly site operated by Veikkaus Ltd offers a variety of betting opportunities as well as local regulation and player protections.
Players are completely free to play at any other site on the internet. The government currently doesn't block any websites or payment methods or otherwise interfere with citizens who choose to gamble at casinos licensed elsewhere.
Is it safe to play at casinos outside of the country?
Yes, at some casinos. Finnish players need to follow common-sense guidelines and perform their own due diligence. However, the task is made easier by reading quality reviews, checking industry blacklists, and learning how to spot unfair or predatory terms.
Do I have to download Finnish software to play?
No. Most Finnish online casinos are available in Suomi and can be played in your web browser. Many of the live casino game providers also offer native language tables and dealers.
All of the instant play, browser-based, HTML5 casino lobbies and games can also be accessed on the native browser of your mobile device. Desktop users with a Flash plugin for their browser may be able to play more games but there are literally thousands of titles across all game types available for mobile play.
How can I deposit and withdraw money?
While each operation will have a host of payment methods available they will differ from site to site in most cases. That said, nearly all of your familiar local and international payment options will work for online casino deposits just as they do for the purchase of other goods and services.
Each operator will have their own payment processing partners, the only sure determination of what will work for you will be to visit the cashier or banking page and look at the deposit options by clicking the appropriate tab.
Next, click on the "withdraw" tab or button to make sure a corresponding withdrawal method is offered. However, if you deposit with a Mastercard, a prepaid card, or a voucher you may need to withdraw via bank wire transfer.
In most cases, they will want to pay you by the same means you used to deposit. When that isn't available, a wire transfer may be offered.
Bitcoin withdrawals are usually reserved for players who deposit via BTC or anothe
How long does it take to be paid?
Instantly or up to 10 days. There are many variables to the answer. The first is whether the operator imposes a pending time - a specific period of time before they will process the withdrawal.
The next variable is the particular operator's processing time. Some may pay instantly and others may take 24-72 hours to process the payment.
The final consideration that can affect the time it takes to get your money is the withdrawal method itself. While Bitcoin and most eWallet payments are exchangeable near-instantly, payments to a Visa card may take from 24 hours to several days and bank wire transfers can take up to seven days before you may have access to the funds.
All other things being equal (good reputation, favored games, etc.) a site with no pending time, and instant withdrawals to BTC or eWallets is favored by most players.
Written by: Lars Jones