Betsson placed on Finland’s payment blocking list

Betsson and its subsidiary BML Group have been placed on the payment blocking list by the National Police Board
The post Betsson placed on Finland’s payment blocking list first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The National Police Board (NPB) in Finland has today, 29 February, released a list of organisations placed on its payment blocking list, which included Betsson and its subsidiary BML Group.

Payment blocks in Finland came into effect in June last year.

In May 2023, Betsson was hit with a €2.4m (£2.1m) conditional fine in Finland by the NPB after the operator violated advertising regulations over a prolonged period of time. 

The operator was found to have targeted Finns with advertising across multiple channels, therefore violating the Finnish Lotteries Act. Betsson and its subsidiary were given several opportunities to explain why they advertised in the country and change their actions to comply with the regulations.

At the time of the conditional fine being announced, the NPB said it would impose the fine if Betsson and its subsidiary continue to market themselves in Finland.

Speaking to EGR, a spokesperson for Betsson said: “It is crucial to emphasise that BML Group is fully cooperating with the National Police Board. Equally crucial is that BML Group is fully compliant with the prohibition order issued by the National Police Board and does not have an offering that is targeting Finland.

“As far as our understanding goes, there should be no fine payable by BML Group in Finland due to our compliance with the prohibition order.”

There is a total of 15 brands on the payment blocks list, all of which are BML Group titles.

Commenting on the news, Antti Koivula, legal advisor at Legal Gaming, said: “This was hardly a surprise, in fact, I’ve publicly predicted that BML would lose the court case, which then automatically means they’d be blacklisted too.

“From the early stages of the process, I have been extremely surprised by how stubbornly BML held on to certain commercially insignificant marketing practices, even though it was clear from the beginning that those practices were infringing the Lotteries Act, which the NPB pinpointed for them on several occasions.”

The Betsson spokesperson added: “Furthermore, BML Group welcomes the recent initiatives by the Finnish government to introduce a competitive licensing system. We believe that this has the potential to enhance player protection and promote market efficiency by introducing fair competition among operators. Such changes will improve the overall player experience and better align with player demands and preferences in the Finnish market.

“BML Group intends to appeal the ruling by the Administrative Court of Finland to the Supreme Court in Finland.”

Koivula queried how the appeal would impact BML if successful: “It is interesting to see … if it is granted, how this will potentially influence BML’s chances of getting a license from Finland once the market opens in a few years.

“The appeal process in the Supreme Administrative Court might take a few years, and it certainly would not be a healthy starting point for a licensing application to have a fresh Supreme Administrative Court decision stating that you’ve breached the law for an extended period of time.”

The post Betsson placed on Finland’s payment blocking list first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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