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Finland uses its payment block powers to blacklist Betsson

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Betsson BML Group, a subsidiary of Betsson Group, is now the first gambling company to be blacklisted by the National Police Board in Finland (NPB), which prevents any payment from Finnish players for its brands.

Today (29th February), the NPB released a list of organizations placed on their blacklist. The list was made up of Betsson and BML Group, as well as 13 brands of the operator.

This is the first blacklisting of an operator in the country. This comes after Betsson lost a case in court to the NPB at the beginning of this month. All banks, virtual currency and payment providers must now block any money transfer from Finland to BML.

Betsson and its implications

This case goes back to last May, when BML Group’s marketing and advertising campaign targeted Finnish Lotteries Act violators through targeting Finnish players.

BML Group was fined EUR2.4m ($2.6m/£2.1m) by the court and prohibited from advertising its gambling services.

The NPB found that the Finnish Lotteries Act was violated by the company, which had illegally targeted players on the Finnish mainland for an “extensive” period.

Veikkaus is the gambling monopoly of Finland. It can only operate and promote its services in that country.

Finland cracks down on illegal gambling

In Finland, payment blocks were implemented for gambling at the beginning of 2023. In Finland, payment blocks for gambling were introduced at the beginning of 2023.

In 2021, Betsson was faced with a similar scenario in Norway, a monopoly-controlled market.

The Netherlands also banned its entry into the regulated igaming sector in 2021.

It was among a group of prominent brands who withdrew after a policy change made at the last minute to the Remote Gambling Act. The new law stated that operators that do not offer their services exclusively to Dutch players but target the Dutch market were not eligible for a licence. It initially sought a license after a cooling-off period was enforced, but this application later withdrew.

Finland will end its gambling monopoly

As the Finnish government works towards ending the current Veikkaus monopoly, the decision to blacklist Betsson was made.

In 2026, the government plans to end its monopoly in favor of a model that allows for open licensing. The government stated that these reforms will prevent financial and social harms from gambling by increasing the channelisation of money to legal offers.

Veikkaus signed an agreement with OpenBet after the monopoly was announced to be ending. Veikkaus will update its fixed-odds system to align it with OpenBet. By the end of 2020, Veikkaus.fi and sales points will have updated their systems.

Veikkaus announced it was reducing its staff by a quarter and dividing the business into three units. Veikkaus will lay off between 185 and 215 employees, with another 110-150 workers having their job changed in a material way.

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