Finnish pro sports bettors about to be hit hard
It’s been announced by the Finnish government that in the near future, they will be blocking banking transactions from foreign betting sites.
This is a move that is likely to hit professional sports bettors hard. We’ve taken a look at what this is likely to do when it comes into effect in 2023.
Why use foreign sites?
The first thing that needs to be covered, is why Finnish players use offshore sports betting sites. The main reason behind this, is because the Finnish Government operates in a similar way to the Norwegian Government.
It has a monopoly system in place, whereby a single betting operator is in place within the country. This is controlled by the Government.
The reason that pro sports bettors tend to use foreign sites, is because the odds that are offered there, are more competitive. It means they can find greater value playing there, and they will be able to make a better living that way.
Offshore – meaning mostly MGA licensed – Finnish online betting sites also offer other benefits, such as betting without registration. Instant betting gives players the opportunity to move fast between casinos which offer the best odds without having to spend time creating accounts for each separate betting site.
What’s going to happen?
Basically, the Finnish government is going to enact a law that stops banks from processing transactions related to offshore sportsbooks, and casinos.
It means that not only will players be unable to make a deposit, but they won’t be able to make a withdrawal either.
So, if a player had already got money on the site, and they want to withdraw their winnings, they won’t be able to do so.
Apathy from the government
Possibly the worst thing about this, is that the government doesn’t seem to care. Officials from the Finnish government have made it clear in interviews that they will not be taking into consideration any outside information.
It has been mentioned to them that there are studies that show this is not a sensible move. It has also been pointed out that Norway has had a payment block in place since 2010, but problem gambling has actually increased since 2015. This also didn’t elicit a positive response from them.
It shows that the Government doesn’t really care about how it is going to impact professional players, or how it will affect players in general.
The only driver behind this decision, is to force people to use the state gambling sites. This could be seen as being a selfish, money driven act, rather than one aimed at protecting citizens.
What to do?
This is perhaps the most important aspect to consider. When the block comes in, professional players will be left at a crossroads. They will be left with just three choices available to them.
They will be able to either play at the state sites, find a way to get around the payment block by for example using Skrill or other e-Wallets, or leave Finland to play in a more progressive country.
It may seem extreme, but if players have no other livelihood available to them, then moving elsewhere might be the only sensible choice.
Of course, getting around the payment block is not so simple at the moment, but if better technology comes in soon, it could leave players with no other choice but to emigrate.
Story by Awais Dar