Finland’s Ongoing Gambling Problem

On August 14th, 2007, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland released a statement containing their goals to halt and solve compulsive gambling habits. About 1.2% percent or 65,000 people living in Finland suffer from chronic gambling habits.

One of the factors that will undergo scrutiny from the Ministry of Social Affairs will be to change the allowed minimum age to 18 years old. The slot machines are a very popular past time in Finland. Previously, customers that are 15 years-old and above can play the slot machines. It can also be easily accessed in malls and arcades.

If the plan of the Ministry of Social Affairs succeeds, it will make it illegal for those people that are below 18 years-old to play any gambling games. The responsibility in dealing with gaming problems in Finland is with both social services and the municipalities.

But recent studies suggested that 46% percent of the population does not care about the ongoing gaming addiction problem.

STAKES, Finland’s government research organization, will handle the study on the effects caused by gambling and online casinos and will hold further activities to educate the public about the harm of excessive gambling. The result of the study will be the basis for further recommendation.