Casinos and Gambling in Finland

Even though gambling history in Finland is long, we will not find many casinos here. Currently there is only one legal casino in Finland located in the country’s capital. Finns prefer online gambling over land based casinos.



History of casinos in Finland

The beginning of gambling in Finland goes back to 17th century when under the governance of kingdom of Sweden lotteries were very popular. Their popularity decreased dramatically under Russian governance in 19th century. Penal code effective In 1899 prohibited gambling  and acknowledged them as illegal. After Finland regained its independence in 1917 and ban was abolished. First slot machines came to Finland from Germany in 1920. Until today sole right slot machines and casinos in Finland has Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY). First independent casino in Finland was created in Helsinki in 1991.

Legal Regulations

Basic document regulating gambling in Finland is Lottery Act (491/65), which entered into life on January 1st 1966. In accordance with casino’s law, bingo machines and other games where money can be won are classified as lottery. Amendments were added to efficient law, in 2012 changes were made, for instance consent to build casino in Vaalimaa close to Russian border, was given. Gambling is controlled and regulated by Ministry of Internal Affairs. In accordance with efficient law people over the age of 18 may enter casinos. Land based and online gambling market is monopolized by government and divided between three units: RAY - responsible for land based casinos, slot machines, and table games, Veikkaus - responsible for lotteries and betting and Fintoto - responsible for horse racing.

When where and what to play in Finland’s casinos?

Currently in Finland there is one casino located in the country’s capital - Helsinki. It is opened every day from 12pm till 4am. In the offer players will find roulette, poker, blackjack, baccarat punto banco, slot machines ale electric roulette.

Cities in which land based casinos are located:

  • Helsinki



Online casinos in Finland

Online gambling in Finland has been legal since 1996. In Finland all gambling activities are monopolized by three units: RAY, Veikkaus and Fintoto there is also PAF, which has a licence to run website with online casino, poker, sports betting and bingo. PAF comes from Aland Islands - swedish-speaking territory belonging to Finland. That is why it may offer its services in Finland. Moreover, Finland does not allow foreign operators to operate on the finnish market. Finnish players however use websites of overseas casinos, which are in finnish, and english language, bet are taken in euro and american dollars.

Legal regulations

Beginning of online gambling in Finland dates back to 1996 when National Lottery of Finland Oy Veikkaus has obtained a licence to run its services through Internet. In accordance with law online gambling market in monopolized and comes under three units. Before a player starts playing in casino he or she has to register. In order to do so one must provide personal data such as name, surname, ID Number, age, and place of residence. A player must be 18 or older, have finnish bank account, finnish security number and permanent address on the Finnish territory.


Swede wins poker tournament in Helsinki

In 2010 Swede poker player Ramzi Jelassi won poker tournament “Helsinki Midnight Sun” in Casino Helsinki. The player won over 139 competitors and received 116 000€.