Finland's 2002 Act on Gaming permits only one license holder to operate sports betting and lottery games, one license holder to operate off-track betting on horse racing, and one license holder to operate slot machines and casino games. Domestic company Veikkaus holds the license for sports betting and lotteries and has launched products for Internet and mobile phone, while domestic company Fintoto holds the license for horse race wagering and has also launched products on Internet and mobile phone. A third domestic company holds the license for slot machines and casino games, but the Act on Gaming does not permit such products to be offered via remote channels. Due to an excessive amount of complaints from foreign gambling operators to European authorities, Finland is now among nine EU member states whose gambling legislation is under investigation by the European Commission for potentially being over-restrictive with regards to EU free trade laws.
As a response to allegations made by the European Commission that Finland was not abiding by EU rules, the Finnish government organized a group that is tasked with reforming the country’s legislation so that it would comply with European law as well as meeting national needs. This group began research in 2007.
As of March 2009, Finland has yet to comply with EU standards. Recently Finland has submitted proposed changes to lottery laws. These changes would restrict the marketing of online gaming not licensed in Finland and impose fines and jail time as punishments for members of the media, advertising companies, and employees of online gaming operators found to be in violation. In reply, Sigrid Ligne of the European Gaming and Betting Association has stated, “This shows all too clearly that the Finnish authorities have for the past two years enhanced their protectionist legislation rather than removed it. The Commission's patience has clearly not paid off. We now call on the Guardian of the Treaty to defend our rights and to bring Finland to the ECJ.”