One thing that Finnish people love to do is gamble. The country is home to just a few land-based casinos, though there are plenty of other venues that house gaming machines and have other types of gambling, plus there’s the internet and the huge number of gambling sites it offers. In this article, we’ll have a look at some statistics that reveal what Finland’s gambling habits are like. First, we’ll kick off by summarising the legal status of gambling in Finland.
Gambling and the Law
Finland has quite a relaxed attitude towards gambling. This has resulted in gambling becoming a very popular pastime, with many Finns regularly spending time and many playing casino games and engaging in other sorts of gambling activities.
As it stands, online gambling is completely legal. You’re allowed to sign up to any sort of gambling site based in another country and place real-money bets there. Gambling at land-based casinos is also completely legal. Finland only has a few of them, though gaming machines can be found at a number of other venues. Essentially, Finns are free to gamble whenever and wherever they like, and they won’t get in trouble for doing so.
Thanks in part to Finland’s approach to gambling, the country, rather unsurprisingly, has some quite high statistics.
A survey carried out in 2019 found that of those aged between 15 and 74 living in the mainland, 78% had gambled at least once during the past year. Of those who took part in the survey, 29% said they gambled every week. What the survey also found was that online gambling was becoming the preferred way to gamble for a growing number of Finns. Some 36% admitted to spending money at gambling sites at least once in the previous twelve months. This was an increase on what a previous study had found. The 2019 survey also revealed that just 2.5% of the country’s gamblers accounted for approximately half of the country’s gambling profits. Most people don’t spend too much money gambling, but a minority do and they dedicate quite a lot of money to it.
A separate study looked at gambling losses. It ranked a number of countries according to how much the average resident lost through gambling. What was found was that gambling losses per person for Finland were the fourth highest of all the countries looked at. Australia had the highest losses per person, followed by Singapore and then Ireland.
Problems with Gambling
It’s clear that people in Finland love to gamble. Despite land-based casinos being few and far between, many Finns are able to get their fix by visiting online casinos. It’s expected that in the coming years, gambling online will eventually become the preferred way to gamble for the majority of Finnish people.
Gambling is an activity that can become addictive. Many people play casino games, place bets on sports and take part in lotteries hoping to win a large sum of money. That rarely happens. Most people know when to stop gambling and do something else. A small percentage of people, however, don’t know when to quit and they keep on spending, thinking a big win will eventually come their way.
The 2019 study we mentioned earlier showed that 11% of people in Finland gamble at a level that’s risky. In other words, they suffer some negative consequences because of their gambling habits. Thee aren’t necessarily consequences that are serious or anything like that, but they could become serious if nothing’s done to help.
Approximately 3% of people in Finland have a gambling problem. Just fewer than half of these people (1.4% of the population) have a gambling problem that’s serious and should be treated as soon as possible before it has any major effects on the gambler themselves, or anyone around them. Men are three times more likely than women to develop a gambling problem.
Another important statistic the survey found was that over a fifth of people in Finland (21%) claimed to know someone who had been negatively affected by gambling. A lot of the time, a gambling problem doesn’t just affect the gambler, it can have effects on those close to them such as friends and family.
Tackling Gambling Problems
What’s encouraging is that most people in Finland who gamble, do so in moderation. They don’t spend too much time or money on it, and they’re able to treat it as a hobby they enjoy once in a while. However, a significant number of people in the country are addicted to gambling and there are many who are at risk of becoming addicted.
Because gambling by its very nature can become addictive, there will always be some people who have a problem with it. What countries should be doing is trying to get the number of people negatively affected by gambling as low as possible. Thankfully, Finland is taking steps to do this. The country has a state-controlled monopoly on every form of gambling and work is being done to ensure that help is available for those who need it.
Finland is a hotbed of gambling activity, with many people throughout the country enjoying various types of gambling. The country’s not without its problems as many people are addicted, though organisations are doing their bit to help. Hopefully in the near future, fewer people will have serious problems and more people will be able to have gambling as a fun, entertaining and potentially rewarding hobby.