National Market Protectionist Gambling Policies in the European Union : The Finnish Gambling Monopoly Merger as a Case in Point

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/301599

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Selin , J , Hellman , C M E & Lerkkanen , T M M 2019 , ' National Market Protectionist Gambling Policies in the European Union : The Finnish Gambling Monopoly Merger as a Case in Point ' , Journal of Gambling Issues , vol. 2019 , no. 41 , pp. 147-167 . https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2019.41.8

Title: National Market Protectionist Gambling Policies in the European Union : The Finnish Gambling Monopoly Merger as a Case in Point
Author: Selin, Jani; Hellman, Carin Matilda Emelie; Lerkkanen, Tuulia Minja Marjatta
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Sociology
University of Helsinki, Centre for Research on Addiction, Control and Governance
Date: 2019-04
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: Journal of Gambling Issues
ISSN: 1910-7595
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/301599
Abstract: A rapidly growing globalized and digitalized gambling industry has compelled European jurisdictions to take action in order to secure some level of gambling market control, to secure public funds from gambling, and to protect citizens from gambling-related harm. This study concerns the market protectionist endeavour to merge three gambling operators into one state-owned monopoly in Finland in 2017. The justification of the systemic change is analysed in key policy documents and media reporting that discerns the political narratives that nudged the monopoly merger from the idea stage to its completion. Within the narratives, the merger is presented as necessary due to the threats of market intrusion by foreign gambling operators and the likelihood of an internal system implosion framed by European Union (EU) law. The worries expressed in the studied materials plug into a general zeitgeist of globalization. The justifications of the systemic change presuppose the inevitable determination of the change and an innate and constant human desire to gamble. Critical views on the merger were introduced in the media at a late stage, stressing the role of the media as a facilitator and manufacturer of political consent. The study demonstrates how market protectionist justifications can, through the maintenance of a regulated gambling market, assure preservation of national public funds obtained from gambling in the EU. The official gambling policy objective of securing public health played a secondary role in the process.
Subject: 5141 Sociology
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