Things are finally starting to move in the right direction in Finland. As we reported earlier this week, Veikkaus has made a U-turn in its approach to the Finnish monopoly system and licensing issues. Such a change will have a direct impact on the future prospects for sport: fundraising could change significantly and in a very positive way.
The company, through its CEO Olli Sarekoski, has expressed in the interim report its support for the licensing system. Under this licensing system, there would be many gambling companies instead of one. This U-turn has been truly revolutionary and surprising, as in the past Veikkaus has been desperate to hold on to any way in which its monopoly position could be maintained now and in the future.
The government has also been on the same page as Veikkaus, and any idea of opening up the gambling market has been poisonous. The government’s plans have been primarily to strengthen its exclusive position, and the arguments in favor of a licensing system have not even been properly examined to date. But this is nothing new in Finnish politics: unprofitable laws are being forced through without any consideration of the bigger picture.
Veikkaus’ strategy needs to be cleaned up and reformed because foreign gambling companies have already taken over almost half of the Finnish digital market. This has happened despite the fact that Veikkaus has a monopoly in our country and therefore other companies cannot operate from here at all. One of the biggest reasons for the success of foreign casinos has probably been the taxation: veroton nettikasino in Finnish means taxfree casinos, and all casinos from EU-countries are those.
For a long time, the monopoly was supposed to protect Veikkaus’ position, but this has not been the case. The licensing system is the only right solution in this situation, and it will also be a smart system for the Finnish taxpayer. We in the editorial team are sure that the licensing system will even increase the income of the beneficiaries: the state will therefore also receive money from foreign companies in the future.
Gaming licenses are the only sensible option.
If Veikkaus’ vision of the usefulness of a licensing system is seen and implemented, Finnish sport and the business that revolves around it will get a good boost. With more private money coming into the sports sponsorship market from a variety of channels, the playing field will change dramatically. It goes without saying that gambling companies are interested in sport and want to gain positive visibility through it.
By supporting sport, gambling companies can gain a direct route to new customers, i.e. players. These are the punters.
If and when Veikkaus’ exclusive right to organize gambling is abolished, Finland will finally move to its own licensing system. Then the old patterns will be a memory. Clubs, federations and leagues will be able to conclude sponsorship agreements with gambling companies that have been granted a Finnish license.
This could bring quite a lot of extra money into the sport. This, in turn, will bring with it new opportunities and an invigorated situation through competition. Competition in the sponsorship market is healthy and examples of this can be found in Sweden, which is the closest neighbor of Finland in the West.
There are currently around 90 licensees in Sweden. Some of these are large companies, others are very small players. In Sweden, individual sportsmen and sportswomen can also obtain sponsorship from gaming companies. This is the kind of system that Finnish sportsmen and sportswomen really need. Similarly, event organizers can benefit from the new licensing system in many different ways.