Betsson ends up on Finland’s blacklist

Betsson ends up on Finland’s blacklist

Betsson ends up on Finland's blacklist
In a surprising and sudden decision, Finland’s National Police Board (NPB), has taken stiff action against BML Group, Betsson’s parent group, and blacklisted the entity and its brands in the country. This is the first operator to have come under such a blow in the country and signals a change in strategy in the way the NPB intends to monitor the gaming industry, several media outlets, among which Next.io and SBC News, reported. The outlet was quoting legal expert Heikki Koivula who shared the news on his LinkedIn feed first, anticipating the NPB to add BML Group, and the brands to its official blacklist shortly after. The move is similar to what the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) does in the Oceanic country, hand-picking brands that it finds to violate its laws, and subsequently putting them on a blacklist that has grown to include hundreds of names. Finland is still a long way off having only begun, and certainly behind Denmark, which recently shuttered access to 83 illegal operators. Effectively, based on the NPB’s decision, access has been cut to 14 of the group’s brands, which are listed by name in the list, among which are such popular picks as Star Casino, Betsafe, and Betsson. This comes following a prolonged debate between local authorities and Betsson Group. The group stands accused of tailoring some of its gambling content, along with promotional materials such as affiliates, blog posts, and more, to drive traffic from Finland to its brands without the necessary authorization. For one, Veikkaus, the state monopoly, which is soon not to be the only game in town, is the only company that can currently operate in the Nordic nation under the existing Lottery Act. Although Betsson Group won a reprieve against a €2.4m fine in mid last year, the final decision now seems to fall on the Finnish side. The blacklist is a new tool listed by the company in a bid to ensure that companies that may not be complying with Finnish law are now given an additional incentive to leave the market. Yet, the blacklisting of Betsson Group is a huge blow against one of the most venerated brands in the country. Koivula said that the blacklisting was a result of the National Police Board winning a case against BML Group on February 19, 2024. Image credit: Unsplash.com

01 MAR 2024

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