Arkansas people, buckle up.
It’s globetrotting time. Today’s stop: Finland, where UCA grad Scottie Pippen played for a few weeks after his Hall of Fame NBA career.
Before getting into the history of betting sites (or vedonlyöntisivustot, in Finnish), let’s look at the history of land-based gambling since the two industries are bound up with each other. Online gambling has its own unique rules but shares much in common with land-based casinos.
The definition of online gambling is essentially identical to the definition of its land-based counterpart. Both types of gambling mean any kind of game that involves wagering money – casino games, poker, or sports outcomes. Both offer similar rewards – Bingo rewards, loyalty bonuses, casino bonuses. The major difference between online gambling industry and land-based gambling industry is where it happens (Yes, I hear you saying ‘Duh’ to yourself.). If people want to hold real cards in their hands or if they want to push buttons on a slot machine, they go to casinos or hotels.
In Finland, where state-directed gambling sector is highly successful, you can visit the Paf Casino at Arkipelag Hotel & Casino located in Mariehamn, the capital city of Aland Islands. Or you can try your luck at Casino Helsinki, located in the capital of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Casino Helsinki is much larger than the Paf Casino and is considered the only real casino in Finland by seasoned gamblers. Those who like to play hard prefer Casino Helsinki, because it offers them more than 300 slots, 32 live gambling tables, and a generously equipped Poker room.
If you visit Finland, make sure to cut the cards in the local casinos. After this, you can take joy in sightseeing Helsinki, go on a snowmobile tour, or even watch basketball matches of ToPo or Sundsvall Dragons played in Helsinki YMCA. Indeed, Hamburg, Arkansas native Scottie Pippen played for ToPo as a 42-year-old in 2008, getting a $66,000 paycheck for his efforts. He said that some of the Finnish basketball players there were more talented than players who are playing in the NBA.
No doubt, he’s glad that the greatest Finnish basketball player in NBA history — young Lauri Markanen — plays for his Chicago Bulls.
When you leave Finland, you can continue enjoying watching basketball games and even make money on them on Finnish betting websites, which have been mushrooming lately in the country. Together with land-based casinos, online gambling in Finland has the revenue of 3.2 billion Euro per year. What is noteworthy about Finish online casinos is that they do not involve companies based in Finland. Holding a Malta license, these online casinos only offer Finnish sites and Finnish customer services. Among such casinos, the best online websites are considered to be 888 Casino, Genesis Casino, Jackpot Village, Pelaa, and LeoVegas. On them, you can play poker, try your hand at various casino games, or bet on the outcome of contests back home like the Hogs’ rough game at Mizzou.
Like online casinos in other countries, online gambling websites in Finland have to bear the heat of the competition with each other. To attract customers, each of the Finnish online casinos goes the extra mile to ensure that they offer them the best gaming experience. Finnish gaming websites try to outdo each other by offering different lucrative schemes to their customers – welcome bonuses, first deposit bonuses, and loyalty and VIP schemes. Online casinos in Finland also constantly work on increasing the quality of their software and games. Each adds more and more sophisticated features to their design and products. On any above-mentioned website, you can enjoy multiplayer game, themed slot machines, and progressive slot machines.
Some of the Finnish online casinos even offer the latest novelty in the gambling online industry, namely a possibility to play with a real dealer. You can now watch live streams from land-based casinos while playing from your computer at home. By combining the real world and virtual gambling, these websites help you experience the genuine casino atmosphere and make you feel a part of a large company of players. What is even more convenient is that you can enjoy the same real word experience not in the comfort of your home but from any place in the world, since some of the companies offer versions designed for mobile devices. Even while climbing Mount Everest, or Pinnacle Mountain for that matter, you can thus watch how a real dealer is monitoring a play in Casino Helsinki and place a bet through your mobile phone.
Land-based and online casinos certainly differ in Finland, as they do elsewhere. Yet in Finland, both industries have one common denominator: a large part of their revenue goes to charity. Whether you play poker in Casino Helsinki or wager online, you can feel good knowing some of the money you gamble goes to support worthy causes.