Aland refers to the Åland islands between Sweden and Finland. This autonomous region is a former province of Finland. With the accession of Finland to the EU, Aland was given a special status tax-wise within the EU, otherwise the core business for this small autonomous region would be jeopardised affecting the country’s economic situation.
The country regulates its legal online gaming by a monopoly. Ålands Penningautomatförening (the Ålands Islands’ Slot Machine Association) or PAF (Play amongst Friends) is the Finnish company that is exclusively licensed and controlled by the Aland government since 1966 that offers online gaming. All revenue is used for charity causes in this jurisdiction. Its counterpart RAY (Raha-automaattiyhdistys, Finland’s Slot Machine Association) is also the non-profit gambling monopoly in Finland. Now and again they quarrel about judicial matters.
Aland has a very clear description of the player registration requirements in their terms and conditions: “Any natural person over 18 years of age with a registered e-wallet or being a bank account holder in a country with which the Operator practices payment cooperation may be registered as the Operator’s Gaming Customer. A Gaming Customer residing or staying outside the Åland Islands is responsible for the validity of his/her use of the Gaming Service at his/her location.”
In addition to this basic implementation, the Aland Islands impose some basic rules that are to be warranted and represented (upon request) concerning the age restriction of 18 years and some rules of conduct:
The Gaming Customer warrants and represents additionally that he/she:
An exception is made for the citizens from countries where the age limit for signing up and playing online is 21 years, for example Estonia.
The PAF keeps a central player register in compliance with the provisions in the Finnish Personal Data Act to safeguard player integrity. Paf.com, or a third party, is obliged to treat all personal data in accordance with the law. The personal information can be only disclosed if the online casino is required to do so by law. The regulatory body of personal credentials from players online is regulated at:
Authorised register controller: Paf, (“Operator” / “Register Controller”)
Tel. +358 20 7910 600
PAF is the only holder of an e-gaming license in Aland. But through its B2B concept, other online gaming websites can open shop in in Aland.
There is only one internet gambling license.
In October 2013, the software and operations from paf.com were thoroughly inspected by eCOGRA (eGaming Compliance Services Limited). This independent international testing agency sets industry standards and audits companies’ practices regarding responsible gaming and fair gaming measures. Manager Louise Chunnet reportedly said that paf.com passed with flying colours:
“Based on our on-site review of the Paf.com operations and software suppliers, we are satisfied that this company’s responsible gambling policies and procedures, and the culture throughout the organisation is of the highest standard, comparing favourably with measures in top industry companies we have inspected in the past.”
The player is solely responsible for possible fees and taxes in connection with an amount won through wagering or playing online.
A player may request, in writing, to be self excluded from paf.com. The exclusion will then be handled administratively by a customer service representative. (Self)Exclusion can be (self)imposed per game or for the entire gaming website.
Regarding to the gaming hazards, Aland provides tools for self-control and research concerning the player’s gaming behaviour on the website of paf.com. The online gaming providers are obliged to refer to offered possibilities concerning amount limits on their gambling site as an opportunity for players to limit deposits. These options, and their content details, should be displayed clearly and are to be set in just a few clicks, with assistance of a customer service representative. The most common limits are the daily deposit limit (24hours), the weekly deposit limit (7 days) and the monthly deposit limit (30 days).
The players are solely responsible for possible taxes and fees concerning an online win.
In its terms and conditions that the player agrees upon by signing up, and again every time he/she logs in, PAF distinctly wave all responsibility and guarantees concerning players protection and liability, probably to prevent lawsuits. At the same time they play an exemplary role regarding player protection. On the one hand they have a zero tolerance policy regarding misconduct of a player in any form. On the other hand they really do their utmost in protecting and prevent problem gaming. But if it does occur, the player can fall back to a supportive gaming insurance. This insurance covers counselling up to 2300 euro with a licenced gambling therapist, validated bij the insurance company. The player is even allowed to bring a family member to the therapist. The insurance covers all players over 18 years of age residing in Finland and Sweden, as well as all players over 21 years of age residing in Estonia. All beneficiaries are required to have registered an account at Paf.com for at least 12 months and to have played for at least 120 euros during these last 12 months. A player that feels he needs help, should only contact the helpdesk and explain their situation. The helpdesk will as of then undertake appropriate steps to help the player. All details of these steps and insurance policy terms, are to be found in the terms and conditions on the website www.paf.com
Disputes for Estonians shall be handled by the Harju County Court in Estonia, according to Finnish legislation.
Paf.com has the right to freeze, blacklist or terminate a players’ account for obvious reasons when the player is in breach of the conditions and terms, like for example in case of cheating or fraud. But they will also suspend the player’s account when there have been no transactions on the account for two years. (Self)Exclusion can be (self)imposed per game or for the entire gaming website.
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