The biggest land-based casino in Finland is operated by state-controlled Veikkaus. Casino enthusiasts can enjoy over 300 slot machines, more than 20 tables and a dedicated poker room.
Grand Casino Helsinki, now known as Casino Helsinki, formerly known as Casino Ray, opened on 2nd December 1991 at the Presidential Hotel. From there, it moved to its current location at Mikonkatu 19, on 1st April 2004. In this article, we will look at the history of Casino Helsinki, review the games at the casino, tell you what you need to consider for the first time, and compare it with casinos in other countries.
In an online casino you can play from your cozy home wearing your pajamas, but no matter how good it is, it can never give you the feeling of a real casino. Also most of the time, you will have to wait at least for some hours to get your winnings. In a land-based casino though, you win and you can cash your earnings and leave…
Original Casino Ray
Finland’s first international casino opened at the end of 1991. Its purpose was to increase income, especially from tourism. A good by-product was the improvement of Helsinki’s reputation as an international city.
The image of a large metropolis fits in with an elegant casino like a fist in the eye. In the beginning, the selection of games consisted almost exclusively of RAY’s own selection of games.
For a very long time, the Slot Machine Association insisted that it wished to provide all its services without the help of outside parties. Fortunately, there has been a slight slip in recent years, eg RAY’s online casino software is entirely produced by an outside party.
During the nearly 13-year history of Casino Ray, there have been several significant advances in casino operations, game selection and staff skills. Major reforms included Inclusion of poker in game selections by foreign game makers such as IGT , Bally’s and WMS Gamingbuying vending machines and gradually easing the very tight dress code.
In the early days of the casino, men weren’t in it if they weren’t wearing at least a jacket, and today casino Helsinki has access to summer shorts and a t-shirt. The biggest difference with the RAY games at the gas stations at that time was that they were really based on randomness, that is, at the time, the so-called gas stations were still widely used.
“Controlled slot machines” where the profit distribution was pre-set, ie the machine was 100% certain to make a profit on RAY, fortunately this has since been completely abandoned and nowadays the RAY machines are all based on a very random chance but with very poor payouts compared to game makers, they guarantee that the player will almost never win.
Opening of Grand Casino Helsinki
In 2004, an internationally renowned casino was received in Helsinki when Grand Casino Helsinki was opened in the historic Fennia quarter opposite the Railway Station. In addition to larger premises, major renovations included: The restored legendary Fennia Hall, which can also be rented for outside events such as weddings or birthday parties.
Originally at Fennia Hall was a hotel designed by the renowned architectural firm Grahn, Hedman & Wasastjernan, and represents the style of Viennese Baroque, so the setting for a stylish casino operation was more than acceptable.
The premises were partly underground and the interior was modeled on American competitors. Windows and clocks are completely absent to prevent players from noticing the time they are playing.
Casino Helsinki’s spectacular Show & Dinner Night brings you international entertainment and a fabulous dinner at the legendary Fennia Salon. From the music starts with the serving and meanders alternately about two and a half hours.
Casino entertainment is perfect for small and large parties, parties, corporate events, Christmas parties and all the time when you want to enjoy and relax from everyday life, or to provide an unforgettable experience for something, such as an anniversary. The evening is always suitable for the international audience.
And the most lucrative vending machines are located along walkways so people can play bigger sums. How such a logic of thinking fits into the Finnish gaming monopoly, whose only basis under EU law is to prevent and limit gambling harm, is highly questionable. The show & dinner software model was also taken from LAs Vegas,
The casino has a total space of 2600 square meters, which is a significant size on a European scale. It must be said that if Finland did not have a gaming monopoly, such a spectacular casino would hardly have been possible with private financing.
The interior designer of Grand Casino Helsinki was Paul Steelman , a world-renowned casino architect whose work includes several world-renowned casino projects, such as the Sands Casino in Macau, so the design of Grand Casino Helsinki was certainly not cost-effective.
Grand Casino Helsinki events
Casino Helsinki, located on Mikonkatu, has also undergone several changes over the years. During the online poker boom, there were queues for several hours on weekends, which is why the Poker tables were moved from the corner downstairs to the stairs immediately above. I’ve been pondering this logic for a long time, which seems insane to the casino’s own profits.
Namely, poker tables produce much worse results than roulette tables or blackjack tables, for example, because the players play against each other and the casino only gets a small houseshare, that is, each rake. It was illogical to move the less productive tables to a more prominent location.
The reason I thought was that this time there was no help from professionals from abroad who knew this. After the boom passed or the wisdom of the management, the Poker Tables moved to the corner again some time ago.
One of the biggest hits of Casino Helsinki was the racetrack game by SEGA with plastic horse figures around the course. The players were able to bet on the winning horse at different odds in the same way as in real horse racing track.
However, with the retirement of the old manager of the casino, Haunnu Jokipaltio, and the replacement of the young Markku Hurme, the game of galloping was allowed to go along with other reforms.
The name also changed from Grand Casino Helsinki to Casino Helsinki. The new name was thought to be more memorable or just clearer and more succinct. In my opinion, the new name is better because there are no other casinos in Finland, just Casino Helsinki is better than good.
In addition, there was a Sports Bar and 30 spot screens for sports to watch live. The intention was also to initially have a Veikkaus betting point at the sports bar, but for some reason, this solution was not suitable for the Finnish monopoly authorities.
Casino Helsinki Games
The casino has slot machines from a number of game makers (IGT, Novomatic, Bally and others). There are more than 20 game tables are available for the following games:
Table games and limits
- Roulette: Betting limits: for numbers 2-200 €, columns 40-1000 €, simple payout boxes (eg black / red) 40-2000 €
- Red dog: Betting limits: € 2-200
- Oasis poker (a variant of Caribbean stud poker): Betting limits: ante € 5-200 but bet € 10-400, bonus € 1-5
- Texas Holdem Bonus: Betting limits: Ante 5-200 €, + continuation game, bonus 2-20 €
- BlackJack: Betting limits: 10-1000 €
- Punto Banco ( Baccaratt’s popular version): Betting limits: 20-2000 €
In addition, the bet limits may be increased upon request at our discretion.
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Casino Helsinki slot games and video poker
Casino Helsinki has a total of over 300 slot machines from a number of different game makers.
The casino has been using the EZ-pay payout system since 2007, which means that there are no coins in the slot machines at all. You can enter banknotes directly into the vending machines, but the payout will take the form of coupons projecting from the vending machines, which will indicate the winning amount.
You can redeem coupons directly from separate ATMs where you can turn your winnings directly into cash. The casino offers the following slot machines:
Casino Helsinki has several slot machines at its disposal, offering almost all the most common variations of video poker. The payback rates vary by credit, but the amount of the stake has no effect on the payout rates, so I recommend always playing with the highest credit and reducing the bet as needed, rather than playing with the big bet and low credit.
The refund rates for these machines range from 93.21% to 98.15%. In the past, there was also a progressive jackpot, where you could play as the jackpot grew big enough with a return of over 100%. However, this was no available anymore from 2010.
The selection includes A sex and the city slot machine made by IGT. This is very popular among female players, based on the same-named TV series. This game has a minimum bet of 1c per line plus a mandatory 20c extra bet. That goes towards paying out the bonus winnings.
The maximum bet is € 6 per spin. Unlike other games, the game sits on its own designed chairs with speakers attached. Among them, during the rumble game, sound effects associated with that TV series. The game also has extra screens that feature video clips between rounds from the Singles Life series.
The Fennia Hall features a Cash Fever slot machine made by German Atronic, tied to its own progressive jackpot. The jackpot can be won from the bonus game. This can be accessed when three cash Fever symbols appear on the screen. The group includes four different cash fever themed slot machines and four different jackpot wins.
Downstairs you will find Fort Knox provided by IGT. There the jackpot triggering does not require access to a separate bonus game but is triggered at random. There are four progressive jackpots of different sizes. Those are stacked in a total of 12 slot machines, with four different game options.
When you get to the biggest jackpot game, the platinum game, you have won at least € 2000 for yourself.
In addition to these, there are several other slots from different manufacturers. Casino Helsinki has kept its slot machine fairly well up to date. Also, the best novelty slots are coming to the game line at a good pace. Slots are by far the most profitable gaming group in the casino. This is why it is appropriate to keep a good and quality offer.
Grand Casino Helsinki Poker
The casino’s poker room offers both poker tournaments and cash games that can be queued up. In addition to Texas Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha , the game selections include the rarer 7 card stud and checker, and the dealer’s choice, with the Button player always choosing the game to play.
In practice, the first two games run every day. Blinds are at a minimum of € 1 to € 1 and the maximum is not officially set. But in regular spin games € 5 to € 5 are the highest.
In addition, larger games will be played mainly during the International Midnight Sun and Freezeout Tournament weeks. Those will attract a large number of players across Europe to claim the first prize of the Tournament Week
In pot-limit games, there is no upper limit on buy-ins. In no-limit games it ranges from 100 to 250 big blinds. Many people buy the minimum amount at the table so you don’t have to be shy about going to the game.
In fact, I learned from experience that the casino’s players’ performance is clearly worse than in online poker at the same levels. For example, if you play at a profit 25c-50c Pot Limit Omaha online, I am quite sure that you are a winning player at the casino 2 € -2 € pot limit Omaha circle.
Because there is no maximum buy-in in pot limit, many players can buy chips for thousands of euros at a time. So, beware that the game is much larger than the size of the blinds.
You can easily view the current cash games directly on Twitter by Casino Helsinki Poker. This way you can see if you have to queue for the game you want when you leave home.
The casino plays two international annual tournament weeks: Midnight Sun in summer and Helsinki Freezeout in winter. In addition to these, there are other tournament events. For example, the Fennia Grand Slam for big stakes players, and poker sm-races.
In Rebuy tournaments, you can buy more chips if you lose your first buy-in rebuy levels. Freezeout tournaments do not have that chance.
Casino Helsinki also features weekly tournaments that earn ranking points. Also, part of the ranking tournament’s prize pool will accumulate in the ranking pot. Once a year, there is a finale among the players who have earned the most ranking points. In this final players get start chips according to their ranked points.
Weekly buy-ins are significantly lower than in international tournament weeks. For this reason, they are very suitable for beginner poker players as the first live tournaments. The buy-ins range from 35 € to 320 €.
Casino Helsinki dress, age limit, opening hours and more to consider.
Going to casinos is typically accompanied by a stylish dress. Casino Helsinki doesn’t have the actual dress code under the current dress code, even in shorts during the summer. However, at the casino, it is hoped that the customer will take the other guests into consideration when dressing, for example in a sleeveless shirt, there is nothing for the casino.
As a rule of thumb, regular casual wear is ideal for a quick game. If you’re going to a show & dinner show, I recommend using a slightly more stylish outfit. You can never really overdo the casino, so if you only play a few times a year, visiting the casino is a good reason to put on the best of the wardrobe and go out in a stylish outfit.
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Age limit, opening hours and weekly Casino Helsinki events
Casino Helsinki is open 363 days a year 12-04, the only days when the casino isn’t open are Christmas Day and Midsummer Eve. The age limit for a casino is 18 years
At the official website of the Casino you will find more information about current events. The address of the casino is Mikonkatu 19 and is located right next to the Railway Station.
The casino offers a total of over 300 slot machines and over 20 gaming tables. Annual turnover is approximately EUR 30 million. The casino employs 200 people.
The casino has a total of four restaurants, which are operated by Royal restaurants. Restaurants include: Fennia Salon and Pajazzo Trattoria, Bar All In, Casino Sports Bar. When you give a tip to an employee, he or she can not keep the money you drop but goes to a common tip pool, which is run between all employees. So please tip, if you get a general satisfaction feeling!
Casino Helsinki review
It’s a great boost to an otherwise ineffective Finnish gaming monopoly. The casino’s style is also very comparable to its outdoor competitors.
If you would rather stay home practicing casino games instead. We recommend playing at AHTI casino.