The progress of Finland’s casinos has certainly taken the world by storm. The lucrative industry in this nordic country started with imported Payazzo machines in the early 1920s. Now, it is a powerhouse in the world of online gambling, featuring grand opportunities that you can find on sites like Casinokokemus that gives very exciting bonuses and free spins also known as “ilmaiskierrokset” in Suomi, to have given players a better and more exciting playing experience and of course, more winning chances.

The industry has certainly come a long way compared to where it came from, but let’s take a closer look at its history, let’s go back to where it all began which can be traced back to World War II.

The Start

Since World War II, the Finnish government has always had a state monopoly on the gambling industry. All parties involved in gambling had to answer to the government. Total control was imposed in the industry for decades, and it is still present today (the European Union defines this as a “protectionist” policy), making gambling in Finland unique from the other countries.

A variety of slot games stepped into the country around 1920, setting up private businesses that upset the government. So in 1933, the Finnish government declared that the license to operate slot machines is now exclusive to charities only.

RAY Comes Into Play

Raha-automaattiyhdisty (RAY) was established five years later as the governing body for slot machines. RAY was tasked to maintain responsible and moderate gambling, a strict principle that the Finnish government pressed on the gambling industry. RAY was also the authority tasked to license and oversee all slot machine production and gambling activities in the country.

More Regulations Are Added

Over the following decades, smaller gambling authorities emerged and the gambling landscape of Finland barely changed for over half a century. That was until the Lotteries Act of 2001 was established and became the most important piece of legislation that regulated gambling in the entire country. State monopoly on any gambling activity was reorganized, and to ensure that the government stays on top of the industry, the legislation was modernized too.

Although these regulations were primarily meant to keep the government in control, this act was beneficial for the players as well. It introduced a reliable system for player protection and kept the effects of gambling addiction minimal.

The Lotteries Act of 2001 still stands today, and only one amendment was enforced, which took place in 2010. These changes mainly worried the marketing side of the industry, because they placed heavy restrictions on all casino advertisements from the outside. This amendment is still in place today, meaning you won’t be seeing any gambling promotions or shows anywhere.

The Finnish government still has an airtight monopoly on all gambling activities, both in the real world and on the Internet. Every slot machine, poker room, casino, and online gambling website that hopes to work in Finland still needs approval from the authorities.

The Authorities in Casinos

Today, four regulatory bodies are in charge of legislation and order for all land-based casinos in the country. All gambling activities are closely monitored this way, and cooperation with the letter of the law is ensured.

Veikkaus OY – The one in charge of all sports betting, lottery, and instant win games in the country.

Fintoto OY – Responsible for horse race betting.

PAF – An organization that regulates all gambling activities in Finland’s autonomous province of the Aland Islands.


That’s the long history of gambling and slot machines in Finland. It certainly displayed notable progress and success throughout the years. It was one of the most efficient and ethical casino managements out there and it still is. We hope that more casinos will model themselves on the integrity of Finland’s casinos.

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