BML Group (a subsidiary of Betsson AB) has been fined EUR2.4m ($2.6m/£2.1m/€2.6m), and is prohibited from marketing gambling services in Finland. This follows a ruling by the National Police Board.
The Board stated that Betsson’s subsidiary had illegally targeted players on the Finnish mainland with their marketing efforts through a variety of media and channels for an “extensive period”.
According to the Finnish Lotteries Act, only Veikkaus – the gambling monopoly of Finland – is permitted to market its gambling offerings to Finnish consumers.
The Board stated that BML had several opportunities to make a statement about its views or to modify activities in order to comply with the law. BML presented certain marketing changes during the hearing, but the Board stated that targeting Finnish players continued.
The National Police Board stated that BML had a significant financial interest to continue the activities. It also found that these illegal activities continued for quite some time despite the Board’s prior control measures.
The National Police Board examined the steps taken by the company to reduce its marketing and considered them a mitigating element when determining the amount of the conditional penalty.
Any materials that promote gambling services on the mainland Finland directly or indirectly on Betsson BML’s website are prohibited from marketing.
This includes any communication aimed at Finnish consumers. It could be a campaign featuring Finnish celebrities, a podcast aimed at the mainland of Finland, or articles published to promote gambling services.
The group may offer financial incentives to marketers who market BML services through websites that are not owned or administered by it.
BML must comply with this prohibition by refraining from publishing any new promotional material targeting the mainland of Finland on their gambling websites. They also need to remove any previously published promotional material and stop marketing on other websites.
BML, as part of the ruling will be added to the payment block list administered by the National Police Board once the prohibition comes into effect on 3 June.
The Board said that if BML continued to market gambling services to mainland Finland in spite of the prohibition, it would enforce the conditional fine.