Finlands' RAY To Open Online Poker Site?


Minister reveals Slot Machine Association's plans

Raha-automaattiyhdistys (RAY - the Finland Slot Machine Association) will be branching out into online poker soon, according to the Finnish minister for Sport and Culture, Stefan Wallin.

Speaking to the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat over the weekend, Wallin said he was confident that RAY, which is a state gaming monopoly, would launch an online poker site before the end of the year 2009. He revealed that RAY had completed all the necessary technical preparations to launch the service.

Raha-automaattiyhdistys is structured as part of a national monopoly owned by the government of Finland, where the gambling market is divided up among three governing bodies. RAY's area of responsibility is casino games, slot machines and table games, and the revenue which it generates is channeled into social and health care bodies in the Nordic state.

Before RAY can move into the online poker milieu there will have to be some legislative changes expanding its mandate to cover Internet gambling.

Ã…lands Penningautomatförening (PAF), the gaming monopoly of the autonomous Ã…land Islands, has been taken to court by the Finnish government for marketing its online gambling offering to punters on the mainland.

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