As the Finnish dice roll
By Vin Narayanan
Two different ministers in the Finnish government have floated proposals regarding online gambling in the media this past week, though no one is sure what prompted it.
This week, Minister of Culture and Sport Stefan Wallin suggested that Finland should consider launching a state-run online poker room.
"With the increase of online gambling, the number of problem players will just grow, while most of the profits flow to firms based in tax havens. A better solution would be to allow one of our national lawful operators, Veikkaus or RAY, to take the responsibility for Net poker", Wallin said according to an English translation of his blog by Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
Veikkaus Roy and RAY, which are both owned by the state, have indicated that they are ready to open up an online poker room once the government gives them permission.
But the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health opposes such a move. Last week, the Ministry told Helsingin Sanomat they were considering a measure that would allow Internet gamblers to claim back their losses from either the online poker room, the credit card company or the winning player of the game.
And the Ministry also vocally opposed the idea of the Finland opening its own online poker room.
"Domestic games would simply make everything even easier for gaming addicts," said Kari Paaso, a member of the Health Ministry. "We will calmly follow the situation," he said in the Helsingin Sanomat report.