Finland: police probe Malta igaming operator over “aggressive” marketing
The National Police board is investigating “large-scale marketing campaigns” targeting Finnish players.
Finland.- The National Police Board has confirmed that it is investigating a Malta-licensed online gambling operator for allegedly carrying out “large-scale marketing campaigns” to target players in the country, where state-controlled Veikkaus is the only regulated gambling operator.
The unnamed operator has been accused of “aggressively marketing gambling games to mainland Finland residents using multichannel strategies”. It’s claimed that the operator sent promotional text messages to minors who were not already customers, marketed on Finnish-language affiliate websites and used a social media influencer whose “recognition is limited to Finland”.
The Police Board said it had received complaints about the marketing from concerned consumers. Reports have increased since the Police Board launched a campaign earlier in the year. With the slogan “No Limits”, the initiative aims to raise awareness of unlicensed gambling and encourage people to report marketing activity.
Inspector Johanna Syväterä said the young people who received text messages from the operator appeared to have been selected at random and had not chosen to receive such messages. It’s not known if the targeting of minors was intentional or through negligence.
The operator involved has not been named publicly but was described as offering fast-paced slot games. The Police Board has sent it a request for clarification. After it receives a response, it may prohibit it from marketing in Finland and impose a fine.
Veikkaus welcomes proposal to open Finland’s gambling market
Meanwhile, Finland’s state-controlled monopoly gambling operator Veikkaus has welcomed a government study that has recommended opening the Finnish gambling market to competition. The study compared Finland’s gambling monopoly with the systems of other European markets and concluded that the current regime is “not a recommended option”.
The Finnish government has already expressed its support for ending Finland’s state-controlled gambling monopoly.