|The Fins, historically adept at repelling powerful invaders, are digging in their heels this week as Ladbroke’s have complained to the European Commission that the Finnish governments’ ‘intransigence’ in respect of their monopoly on gambling is convening European law. Gambling laws are strictly controlled by the Finnish government through the 2002 Act on Gaming, which requires that the proceeds of licensed, state-owned companies' operations be ploughed back into Finnish sports, science, culture, and welfare.|
'A company such as Ladbrokes believes that it has the right to determine how betting and gaming should be run in Finland. But Finland has its own legislation. An offshore bookmaker cannot just walk in here and announce that your model is the wrong one,” the Finnish Ministry of the Interior defiantly told the Helsinki news.
But Ladbroke’s could have the courts on their side. Last November the European Court of Justice ruled that the Italian government had no right to prohibit non-Italian operators from collecting bets within their borders – a decision that could mean curtains for government monopolies. 'One of these days Ladbrokes will be running betting operations in Finland and elsewhere in Scandinavia. Of that you can be sure', vowed Douglas Roos, the MD of the company's Nordic operations.