License: Pexels, Free to use, Author: Baptiste Valthier
Betsson AB's subsidiary, BML Group, has incurred a fine of €2.4m (£2.1m/$2.6m) and has been prohibited from marketing its gambling services to players in Finland. This penalty follows a ruling by Finland's National Police Board, which determined that BML Group violated the Finnish Lotteries Act.
The National Police Board stated that the Betsson subsidiary engaged in illegal marketing activities targeted at players in mainland Finland across various channels and media platforms, spanning an "extensive" period. According to the Finnish Lotteries Act, only Veikkaus, the country's gambling monopoly, is permitted to market its gambling offerings to Finnish consumers.
During the hearing process, BML Group was given multiple opportunities to provide a statement regarding its perspective and to make necessary changes to comply with the law. Although BML Group outlined certain modifications it had implemented in its marketing practices, the National Police Board found that the targeting of Finnish players persisted.
"The National Police Board determined that BML Group had a significant financial interest in continuing these activities and noted the prolonged duration of the illegal practices, despite previous regulatory measures," explained the Board.
"The Board took into consideration the measures taken by the company to reduce its marketing efforts as a mitigating factor when determining the amount of the conditional fine."
As a result of the ruling, BML Group must comply with the prohibition on marketing its gambling services to Finnish players, and the imposed fine stands as a consequence of the violation committed.
The marketing ban imposed on Betsson's BML website encompasses all content that directly or indirectly promotes the sale of gambling services in mainland Finland. This includes any communications aimed at Finnish consumers, celebrity endorsements appealing to the target audience, podcasts specifically tailored for mainland Finland, and articles created with the intention of promoting gambling services within the country.
Furthermore, the prohibition extends to the marketing of BML services on external websites, provided that the group offers financial incentives to the marketers. To comply with the restrictions, BML must refrain from publishing any new promotional materials targeting mainland Finland on its gambling websites. It is also required to remove all previously published sales promotion content and abstain from marketing activities on other websites.
Effective from June 3rd, BML will be included in the National Police Board's list of payment blocks as part of this ruling. The Board emphasized that if BML continues to target its gambling services at mainland Finland despite the ban, necessary actions will be taken to enforce the conditional fine that has been imposed.