Aland Islands Gambling Law and Regulation
All online Casinos with an Aland Islands Gambling License
Introduction to Aland Islands Gambling Law and Regulation
The Aland Islands are a part of Finland. Gambling is a crucial part of the Finnish entertainment industry since you will find slot machines anywhere you set foot.
In fact, they are so popular that you are going to find video slots in gas stations, supermarkets, and others in unexpected locations.
It can offer a big boost to the local economy and will help in propelling other industries.
Gambling is legal in the Aland Islands. If you want to find out more about the gambling law and regulations of the region, keep reading.
The History of Gambling in the Aland Islands
Finland is a country that offers a high standard of living and has a well-developed economy. The conditions pave the way for thriving gambling industry. However, brick-and-mortar gaming opportunities are scarce, especially in the Aland Islands.
The relationship of Finland with the mainstream gambling activities dates back over a century. Even before the land-based casinos were a thing here, slot machines won the heart of the people in the country. Soon they turned into a favorite pastime for most of the adult population.
They grabbed the attention of the Finnish players in the Aland Islands. Thus, many slot machine businesses started cropping up in the nation in the following years. The growing popularity of the games prompted the government of Finland to clamp the industry in 1933. During this time, the authorities decide that just charities will be able to get a license for operating the machines.
The system functioned for some years but there was a growing concern among unsatisfied private businesses that prompted the introduction of the RAY, the gambling authority of Finland.
RAY had been given the responsibility to license and regulates all gambling activities taking place in the country and creates slot machines. Apart from introducing some new gambling authorities in the coming decades and the 1965 Act, the gambling landscape of Finland remained unchanged for almost a century.
The Lotteries Act
The Lotteries Act of 2001 was the signature piece of legislation that regulated gambling activities in Finland. It led to the reorganization of the state monopoly and all poker and gambling activities. It made the legislation modern enough to make sure that the government oversees the industry.
Moreover, the primary goal of the act was to bring in a better system player for the gambler’s protection and reduce the ill effects of gambling addiction. Even today the Lotteries Act of 2001 is in place but there has been one amendment in 2010. The amendment did not change any important regulatory procedures. It primarily dealt with the industry’s marketing side.
But when it comes to the Aland Islands, the regulatory organization responsible for handling all gambling activities is PAF. It keeps a close eye on all the gambling activities of the autonomous province.
PAF is not your usual gambling regulatory body. It cares about society and its customers. The company claims that it is in it for the long run. The gaming regulator was founded by The Aland Islands in 1966. All the revenue that the company collects goes to charity. Even though PAF holds a complete monopoly over gambling in the Aland Islands, it offers turnkey eGaming platforms operational services to various companies through B2B gaming operations.
PAF got its first poker operating license in June 2012. It is an award-winning industry leader. The company has 330 employees from 29 different countries that work at its different offices in different locations.
PAF keeps a close eye on all gaming and gambling activities and ensures that everything is done in accordance with the law.
Is Online Gambling Legal in the Aland Islands?
The one thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they play in an online casino on The Aland Islands is whether gambling is legal in the province. Well, you will be happy to know that it is. The Finnish government has a complete monopoly over the online gambling industry. Thus, just platforms that are PAF-approved can operate on The Aland Islands.
It is a system that often causes disputes with the EU, where Finland is one of the members. The EU supports open markets between the nations of the EU, while Finland has a robust grip on the platforms operating in the country. It does leave a legal gap for several sites that want to provide their services to Finland.
Many gambling sites are forbidden from operating in The Aland Islands but a good number of them still accept Finland players.
Gambling Monopoly of PAF
The jurisdiction of Aland Islands has just one licensee under its wing and that is PAF or Penningautomatforening. As we said, it is a non-profit charitable gaming company that set its foot in the market in 1966. Play Among Friends or PAF has some exclusive rights to offer gambling services operating on land, through the internet, and also on cruise ferries as people travel across the Baltic Sea. The proceeds are divided amongst different humanitarian organizations and are used for funding cultural, social, environmental, and various other beneficial activities.
Aland Islands’ gambling routine has some similarities with that of mainland Finland. This is because each is a monopolistic legal structure where one or more state-controlled operators are known to cover the whole market.
Aland Islands is located at the Gulf of Bothania’s entrance; it is an official territory of Finland. However, it maintains an autonomous status with its own parliament, government, local policies, and taxation system. The province doesn’t offer permits to any other operators apart from PAF.
Licensing Guidelines in Aland Islands
The government of Aland Islands authorizes one domestic operator, which might imply lenient requirements. Their licensing system is adequately enacted and is usually well-respected in the gambling world. When it comes to the longest-standing and largest company in the business, PAF has a solid reputation in terms of responsible and safe gambling services.
PAF.com has been offering internet gambling operations since 1999. They have exclusive permission from the Aland Provincial Government. They function under one license that covers every product category that the company provides. This includes,
- Game of Skill
- Casino games
- Betting on sports
The permit that the operators get is set to expire after a year. So, they will have to renew it by paying a certain fee.
PAF is a government entity. So, the company does not have to go through any application process. However, they maintain a specific standard of professional practice. Their business plan, commercial performance, and financial reports are always in close evaluation throughout their tenure.
Online Gambling in Aland Islands
Because of the monopoly in Finland and Aland Islands, foreign operators can’t apply for local permits that will let them legally service Finnish residents. The operators offer online casino games and betting in the country and PAF in the Aland Islands region and Veikkaus in mainland Finland.
The EU openly pressurizes Finland to open a gaming market to foreign competition on various occasions. But the Finnish authorities haven’t shown any signs of giving up on the pressure. As the country borders Sweden, it keeps a close watch on the recent developments and changes taking place in the Swedish digital gambling industry.
PAF then urged the government of Finland to end the monopoly as it would help the country address the adverse effects of gambling more keenly and closely. But, Finland’s authorities are still skeptical about ending the monopoly. Many believe that opening the local market might ill affect the government organizations depending on the gambling money offered by the companies operating under the state.
However, that does not mean that Finnish people don’t have many options at hand. When there is no local operator, many Finns started to take all action against offshore online casinos. So, these are casinos that have licenses from other European jurisdictions.
These websites are compliant with the local regulatory policies. Usually, they offer Finns the opportunity to create accounts with Euro as the base currency. Also, they make sure that the website is in the Finnish language.
Practices like these might violate the nation’s state monopoly but the Finnish authorities don’t penalize or prosecute local people for taking part in offshore gambling activities. According to the Department of Legislative Affairs, the local players who are taking part in the foreign gaming sites aren’t committing any crime while doing so.
But it’s not the case where offshore operators are concerned. They are not allowed to advertise the products and services they offer to the Aland Islands people. A magazine editor once had to pay a fine. He was found guilty of publishing ads in 2010 for an offshore gambling company.
Responsible Gambling Scene in Aland Islands
The authorities pay attention to customer protection and security. To begin with, the registered customers have to be of legal age. This means if you are from the Aland Islands and want to take part in gambling activities, you have to be 18-21 years of age. All specifics related to the player we drafted by the Finnish Personal Data Act. PAF website is responsible for keeping a central player registry without revealing any personal details.
One of the best things about gambling on the Aland Islands is if the customers are dealing with addiction problems, they are given insurance. Players who have been registered for about a year with a minimum of €120 deposited at the time can ask for professional counseling of up to €2300 with a therapist with proper certification. In case someone wants to self-exclude, they can do so for the whole website or just for one game.
There are also measures in place when it comes to ensuring that the games that a site is offering give fair and random results. So, the authority requires the gambling sites to have a Random Number Generator certificate by a reliable third-party testing agency.
Taxes for Gambling on Aland Islands
When it comes to PAF in Aland Islands, it provides gambling products across various categories with one permit and is charged €70,000 for every renewal.
Finnish law doesn’t require the local people to pay taxes when they make any profits from gambling. But keeping that in mind, Finland or Aland Islands enforces gambling debts. However, it is on the condition that players will incur them by participating in activities that the government offers.
The Top Regulated Banking Methods at Online Casinos in Aland Islands
Two of the top deposit methods that players can use to deposit money at the casinos are Neteller and Skrill. Apart from this, they can also deposit money through bank transfer, mobile, and online services.
You can make bank transfers from the following banks in the Aland Islands.
- Danske bank
- LHV Pank
Since local people can take part in gambling activities. The banks also allow the people of the nation to make transactions through their facilities.
Player Protection Offered by PAF
In the terms and conditions laid by the online casino, the player agrees to them by signing up, and again whenever the player logs in, PAF waives all guarantees and responsibilities regarding the player’s liability and protection to prevent lawsuits. Simultaneously, they play an essential role when it comes to player protection. While they have a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct of a gambler in any form, they do everything to prevent and protect problem gaming. However, in case it does happen, the player can expect to get supportive gaming insurance.
The insurance offers coverage of €2300. It will also provide you assistance from a licensed gambling therapist. You can also take a family member to a therapist.
The insurance is offered to all players over 18 years of age in the Aland Islands. All players should have an account at PAF for a minimum of 12 months and have taken part in the game with a minimum of €120 during the last 12 months. If a player needs help, they can get in touch with the helpdesk and talk to them about the situation. The helpdesk can undertake the right steps for helping players. You will find the details of the insurance policy terms and steps to be found in the website’s terms and conditions.
PAF can freeze, terminate, or blacklist a gambler’s account for obvious reasons that are if a player breaches the terms and conditions. However, they can also suspend the player’s account if there is a transaction in the casino account for two years. You can opt for self-exclusion for every game or the whole website.
Requirements for Player Registration
Aland Islands has a clear description when it comes to player registration needs in their terms and conditions. Anyone who is over 18 years of age with a bank account or registered e-wallet in the country with which practices their payment cooperation might be registered as an Operator’s Gaming Customer. If someone’s customer is staying outside the Aland Islands is responsible for the validity of the use of gambling services at their location.
The Gaming Customer makes sure that a customer,
- Isn’t restricted by limited legal capacity.
- Is more than 18 years of age.
- Isn’t a compulsive player.
- Is not acting on behalf of some other party.
- Isn’t conducting any criminal activity indirectly or directly related to the Operator’s Gaming Account?
- Is not depositing money that is coming from unauthorized activities into the Gaming Account.
But there is an exception for the citizens of the country where the legal age limit for registering and playing online is 21 years. The PAF keeps the central register of complaints about the provisions in the Finnish Personal Data Act for protecting the player’s integrity. PAF has to treat all personal data as per the law. So, the details that the players are sharing with them can only be disclosed in case the online casino is obligated to do that by law. The regulatory body of credentials from gamblers online is regulated are Authorized, registered controllers.
Casinos Operating in Aland Islands
Many casinos accept players from Aland Islands. Let’s take a quick look at them.
Twin Casino set its foot in the market in 2017. It is one of the top online casinos operating in the Aland Islands. The online casino has games from some of the top developers in the industry, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Evolution Gaming.
The website doesn’t look cluttered. There are three categories of games, such as slots, jackpots, and live casinos. In the live dealer section, you will find something for everybody. In the jackpot section of the casino, you will find all progressive jackpot games.
The site’s creators make sure that you have a good time. This is the reason you are going to find some of the best games on the platform. But remember all bonus wagering requirements need to be completed within 30 days.
There are several deposit methods on the site. If you have any trouble at the site, you can easily talk to the customer support team. Twin is an exciting casino with some exciting offerings.
Casino Lab is also known to provide its offerings to Aland Islands players. It is a Swedish gambling platform operating in the region. On this gambling site, you can look for games from the best suppliers and studios. But what’s exciting is the live casino that streams games round the clock. If you love to play table games, you should check out this section of the platform.
The casino offers a payment method for all players in the region. You will find many promotional offers on the platform, such as welcome bonuses and other bonuses. The interface is easy to navigate through.
It is a multi-software casino. So, you can expect to find many games on the platform. There are more than 11000 games to select from. These games are by 175 different providers. The titles and studios that the casino has chosen will give players in the target market the best gaming experience.
Your location determines the banking methods that are available to you. Also, you can expect to make an instant deposit on the site. All deposit methods are also available for making withdrawals.
The customer service team of the site is responsive and will attend to all the issues you are having at the site.
Dream Vegas is one of the most popular casinos operating in the Aland Islands. The casino offers games from providers, such as Elk, 1×2 Gaming, Aristo, Barcrest, Foxium, and Evolution. All players are going to have a great time playing at the site.
Navigation through the site is no hassle. It is one of the best out there. While you will find many slots, there are some fat pots and incredible newer games. The live dealer category provides table limits for almost everyone. The poker tab has a great collection of games, too.
The bonuses and promotions the site offers are impressive and will make sure that you have a good time at the site. You can make transactions on the site with different banking methods. If you have any queries about the site, you can contact the support team. The customer support team is available 24/7 through live chat or email.
Future of Gambling in the Aland Islands
There is no telling if the monopoly of Aland Islands on gambling is going to end any time soon but the government has made it clear that it isn’t keen on loosening up the regulation or the monopoly it has over all gambling activities.
The government has been in control of the gambling industry since before World War II. It can take some effort to alter the present gambling state in the nation. Several experts believe that the country’s gambling policy might hurt several organizations depending on the present state of affairs.
Aland Islands Gambling Law & Regulation FAQ
Paf was introduced in 1996 in the Aland Islands.
The two best casinos operating in Aland Islands are Twin Casino and Dream Vegas.