Finland police blacklist Betsson in first blocking of gambling operator


Finland’s National Police Board has blacklisted 13 gambling brands.

Finland.- The National Police Board (NPB) of Finland has blacklisted a series of Betsson-owned brands in the first case of a gambling operator being blocked in the country. Banks and payment providers must block transfers to the brands.

The 13 brands blacklisted all belong to Betsson and its subsidiary BML Group. The move comes after Betsson lost a court case against the NPB last month. The court ruled that BML Group had targetted marketing and advertising at Finnish customers in breach of the Finnish Lotteries Act. BML Group was fined €2.4m.

Finland’s gambling monopoly

For now, the state-controlled operator Veikkaus is the only business allowed to offer gambling products in Finland. However, the country plans to open a competitive regulated gambling market by 2026. Veikkaus has begun planning for the transition. It has announced layoffs and has entered into an deal with OpenBet to update its fixed-odds betting offering.

Meanwhile, a new survey has indicated a rise in problem gambling in Finland despite a decline in gambling participation. According to the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 4.2 percent of survey respondents said they suffered from problem gambling or were “at-risk”. That equates to 150,000 people at the national level.

The figure is a rise from 3 per cent in previous surveys. The THL said the increase is significant. Men were much more likely than women to suffer from problem gambling, with 6.6 per cent saying that they gambled at a level considered to be seriously problematic, compared to 1.8 per cent of women. 

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