Regulatory revolution: Finland's new iGaming license and its impact on affiliates

Finland new iGaming licenses
27th Jun, 2024
Simon Colmenares Author Profile Photo Simon Colmenares

Finland is a Nordic country known globally for its progressive iGaming sphere, underpinned by supporting regulatory credibility. This has resulted in a fertile and forward-thinking iGaming ecosystem admired by countries worldwide. However, in 2026, the current license will cease, with a new model assuming its position. This has led to a variety of potential outcomes being discussed by advocates and detractors. 

The new standard will come into effect on January 1, 2026, as an open license model, where previously it was entirely governed by the state-owned company Veikkaus Oy. The operational framework of gambling in Finland will notably shift, with potentially significant implications for numerous stakeholders. This article aims to assess this radical change and scrutinize how it might play out in Finland's world-renowned iGaming ecosystem. 

Context: Finland's Prior Gaming Regulations and Overall Impact

Since 2017, Finland has enjoyed a successful iGaming model governed by Veikkaus, a state-control entity operating to a progressive standard. Veikkaus funnels all returns into social advancement in Finland, making gaming participation more principled with many endeavors towards social progress subsidized. This monopolistic take has also resulted in improved responsible gaming outcomes across the country. However, as technology and information evolve, the necessity for change becomes an imperative within our information age.

The new licensing system is envisioned to result in increased competition within Finland's gaming market among the many platforms available (source:, driving operators to innovate and enhance their offerings to attract and retain customers. Nevertheless, to maintain the standards set by Veikkaus in terms of innovation and cutting-edge technological evolution, these companies must reside at the vanguard of iGaming developments and be underpinned by transparent compliance to engage Finnish consumers effectively. 

The Future: The New Gaming License System

The new model projected by the Finnish government will disassemble the Veikkaus monopoly and be redirected towards a radically different licensing system. It is anticipated by many industry insiders this new framework will facilitate a more transparent and competitive iGaming ecosystem where foreign operators can offer their services, such as those under a Maltese license. For example, this could result in more favorable promotions and bonuses alongside loyalty programs and innovative games designed with the latest technologies. 

Although Veikkaus proffered a plethora of locally-oriented titles built on quality, detractors have cited a lack of multifarious competitors as detrimental to the range of potential options for Finns. Thus, Finland may be following a model favored by its neighbor Sweden, where casinos must only obtain a license to offer their services. The new prototype is purportedly intended to improve consumer protection, reduce illegal gambling activities and offshore loopholes and double down on channeling revenue towards public services. A new regulatory body will be installed that grants licenses, adhere to compliance protocols and enforces regulations.

Consequences for Affiliates

Affiliates act as intermediaries between gaming operators and consumers. Finnish commentators have noted that they will likely be directly affected by the future regulatory climate, where the introduction of licensed operators presents critical opportunities and challenges for affiliates:

Opportunities for Affiliates

  • Augmented Market: Under the new model, affiliates will be proffered a more expansive set of potential partners, in theory increasing revenue with a more eclectic collection of iGaming alternatives.
  • Competitive Commission Framework: More competitive commission structures offered to affiliates by new operators are expected to flourish, i.e., financial incentives to propel traffic towards these platforms.
  • Improved Transparency and Trust: The new regulatory authority overseeing the licensing process is predicted to further improve transparency and trust in the market, where affiliates profit through working with licensed operators held to higher standards of fairness and consumer protection.

Challenges for Affiliates

  • Compliance Prerequisites: A fresh batch of compliance prerequisites will be presented to affiliates to confirm alignment with new regulations for licensed operators, such as supplemental administrative work and probable adaptation of marketing practices.
  • Expanded Competition: If, as is anticipated, a surging influx of new operators enters the market, competition among affiliates will be duly increased. A flooded market presents a significant challenge, leading to innovative strategies and marketing investments that will be ultimately beneficial. 
  • Market Saturation: As more affiliates enter the Finnish market, saturation is a pertinent risk. Thus, affiliates must remain adaptive and resilient to remain relevant and profitable.
  • Consumer Protection and Responsible Gambling: With Finland's new model still under governmental oversight, affiliates will be required to adhere to strict customer protection and responsible participation rules. This may encompass mechanisms like deposit limits and self-exclusion options, among many other resources. 

Future Outlook for Finland

The regulatory revolution lying in wait for the Finnish iGaming sphere is an intriguing prospect. Its far-reaching implications could stimulate a paradigm shift in the industry for affiliates and innumerable stakeholders. If this radical shift progressed as anticipated, Finland could reestablish itself as an even more successful iGaming model, serving as a benchmark for neighboring countries and worldwide economies. 

This brave new world promises cutting-edge innovation with greater customer choice, higher-quality games and augmented trust in the system. As outlined in this article, affiliates are set to experience significant opportunities and obstacles. In any scenario, success will entail harnessing competitive advantage, remaining adaptable to regulations and underlining their commitment to responsible gaming frameworks. Regardless of what this ecosystem will look like in two years, it will undoubtedly mark a new era of iGaming at the vanguard of possibility. 

27th Jun, 2024
Simon Colmenares