The proposed amendments to Finland’s Lotteries Act were notified to the EC on May 31st and are subject to a standstill period ending September 1st.
Under the current Lotteries Act, gambling in Finland is only authorised through the state-controlled operators Fintoto Oy, Raha-automaattiyhdistys (RAY) and Veikkaus.
The amendments would transfer this right to an as yet unnamed company which will be formed through the merger of the three incumbent operators and tasked with organising gambling so as to “safeguard the legal rights of gaming participants, prevent misuse and crimes and prevent and reduce the negative economic, social and health impacts of gambling”.
The amendments also set out the responsibilities of the new company’s administrative board, which will be responsible for monitoring and supervising that the gambling operation is carried out as provided for by law, as well as its advisory committee, which will be charged with monitoring the achievement of financial and political goals and the company’s development needs.
The proposed changes would also see article 3 of the Lotteries Act amended to allow the company to “also run new types of gambling as well as combinations of various types of gambling”.
The Finnish government plans to complete the merger of the three gambling operators by no later than the start of 2017, with the combined entity – which will be entirely state-owned – expected to generate annual revenue of approximately €1.2bn.