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Veikkaus SVP of international business Jan Hagelberg has predicted Finnish authorities will begin issuing gambling licences in September 2026.

Hagelberg was speaking on a panel at the NEXT Summit Valetta, titled “the State of Play of Gaming in Finland,” at the event’s Markets and Emerging Jurisdictions conference track.

He said: “When it comes to the schedule, I have the same view… I’ve said that the licence will be given in September 2026. So, I stick to that.”

The executive said that he believed Veikkaus would thrive following the market launch.

Hagelberg added: “We know the business and there are a lot of things going on: technological changes, responsibilities, platforms, new talent from companies such as Kindred, I’ve recruited people from PokerStars. In all fronts, lots of things going on. We’re busy.”

The prediction comes as Finland gears up to launch its regulated market, with government committed to launching the new system no later than 2026.

This is a change from the current monopoly model, in which the state-owned Veikkaus has the exclusive rights to offer iGaming and sports betting.

The current system is generally seen to have failed in its channelisation objectives, with much revenue remaining on the unregulated segment.

Controversy over PSP blocking

Legal advisor at Legal Gaming Attorneys at Law and Finnish market expert Antti Koivula said he understood that some form of PSP payments blocking was to continue under the new regime.

This system, which was first introduced in 2023, has faced criticism from some stakeholders for not operating effectively.

Zimpler senior legal counsel Ario Mansoori said the system was effective “in theory” but uncertainties remained.

No entities are currently on Finland National Police Board’s (NPB) PSP blocking blacklist.

Betsson’s holding company BML Group became the first blacklisted business in February following a decision by the Helsinki Administrative Court.

The operator has since appealed the decision, leading to the Supreme Administrative Court to suspend the order until the case concludes.

Mansoori said: “I also would say that once the licence regime is implemented, then the circumstances would be much more difficult for the operators – because then you cannot just change companies, because you need to have a Finnish licence at that time.”

Marketing restrictions under new regime

Koivula argued that the political discussions within Finland regarding potential marketing restrictions have taken a healthier direction since March.

Ebet senior affiliate manager Mikko Post agreed with this sentiment but warned that influencers and streamers may face stringent regulations.

He added that a healthy system would see the government focus on areas with a high number of underage users such as some forms of social media.

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