FINLAND announces the end of the state monopoly on online gambling

Veikkaus, Finland's state monopoly on gambling, has announced the start of restructuring negotiations with the aim of reducing its workforce by up to 240 employees.
 In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company said that the terms of employment for another 195 people will see "significant changes."

It said the talks will affect all 825 of its employees.

This move comes amid planned changes in the sector announced by Finland's new right-wing coalition in its government program.

The government wants to reform the gambling system and open it to competition by introducing a licensing model for online gambling that would take effect in January 2026.

"The aim of the reform is to prevent and reduce economic, social, and health-related harm resulting from gambling and to improve the channeling rate of the gambling system," the program states.

In a press release, Veikkaus said it aims to separate its online gaming business from its lottery and physical machines.

"We want to be competitive in the future licensing market and dynamic in the monopoly market. Therefore, we need changes in our operations that apply to the entire company," wrote the company's CEO, Olli Sarekoski, in the statement.

Veikkaus also plans to reduce the number of its venues across the country from 65 to around 40-50, and negotiations are currently underway that could result in the closure of its casino in Tampere.

Veikkaus' restructuring comes in anticipation of planned changes in Finland's gambling regulation, which will open the online betting market to international operators from 2026, thus ending Veikkaus' monopoly in that sector. The company plans to maintain its monopoly on lotteries and physical machines.

Seven major online gambling firms have formed an association to promote the implementation of the licensing system in the Finnish market. The Gambling Association consists of the online gambling companies Betsson, ComeOn Group, Entain, Flutter, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, and William Hill.
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