GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 51 - November 2021

Finland Minister of Interior WALL OF SHAME 68 Flag illustration by patrice6000/Shutterstock The Ministry of the Interior affirms the rules governing gambling via a decree. With that kind of power, you would think the good folks at the Ministry have their collective fingers on the pulse of the act of gambling, but this is where this particular news item goes from ordinary to extraordinary. In explaining the reason for these proposed reforms, the Ministry of the Interior said it wanted “to lower the disadvantages of gambling within the industry.” Hold the phone. Any of us that has been a gambler of any kind or has been involved in the industry for a reasonable amount of time realize that, by its very nature, gamblers are at a “dis- advantage” when they sit down and put their money at risk. You see, there’s this thing that’s called “house edge” and it’s the reason why there are billion dollar casinos being built all over the world and the reason why online casinos profit. So, to think that theMinistry of Interior actu- ally thinks that it’s realistic to expect operators to do business without that built-in advantage well, it goes to show just how clueless it is. And if those of the kind of people who are making decisions that will affect revenue for operators and affiliates, it’s downright scary. Scary enough to haul their asses into the APCW Wall of Shame. Welcome to the club, Ministry of Interior! There have been enough gambling restric- tions and advertisement bans over the last few years that if we were to report on all them, we could easily fill this entire magazine. So, with that said, on the surface, there was nothing unique or alarming back in late September when it was announced that a new bill in Finland could result in a series of amendments to the nation’s Lottery Act. The most notable suggested changes that would be incorporated, if the bill gains the necessary support in the Finnish Parliament, included the introduction of payment block- ing for non-regulated gambling companies that target Finnish players and a ban on ad- vertising gambling games that are seen as “par- ticularly harmful,” including slot machines. In Finland, gambling is regulated by the Lottery Act and the purpose of it is to “en- sure the legal protection of gamblers, com- bat misuse and crime, and prevent and reduce the negative economic, social and health-related effects of gambling.” You would think the good folks at the Ministry have their collective fingers on the pulse of the act of gambling , but this is where this particular news item goes from ordinary to extraordinary . G P W A t i m e s . o r g

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