Finland wraps casino streamer for promoting unlicensed gambling

Only the state-controlled operator Veikkaus can offer gambling in Finland.
Only the state-controlled operator Veikkaus can offer gambling in Finland.

Lauri Kangas promoted gambling on YouTube, Snapchat and Twitch.

Finland.- A Finnish court has penalised a social media influencer for promoting unlicensed gambling. Only the state-controlled operator Veikkaus can offer gambling in Finland, but casino streamer Lauri Kangas shared content from other operators on YouTube, Snapchat and Twitch, as well as his own website.

Kangas had been sharing content on his own gambling activities for some time and began to promote online casino brands for a commission. The prosecution argued that Kangas’ content was mainly aimed at a Finnish audience and breached the country’s ban on the promotion of any gambling activity not provided by Veikkaus. 

The streamer’s defence argued that some of his audience was located outside of Finland, but the court found that to be of little relevance when content appeared in the Finnish language. He was given a brief suspended prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit around €51,000 that he made from his illegal gambling marketing.

The case comes just a month after Finland’s National Police Board issued a €2.4m fine against Betsson’s BML Group for marketing to Finnish customers. The NPB found that Betsson had illegally targeted players in mainland Finland through marketing on various channels and forms of media over an extended period. It said BML had been given opportunities to submit a statement to give its point of view and to correct its activity to comply with Finnish law.

The Finnish Lotteries Act states that only Veikkaus, the state-controlled gambling monopoly, can market gambling services to Finnish consumers. However, the government is currently considering opening Finland’s gambling market to competition. Veikkaus has welcomed the move, urging the government to introduce a regulated market sooner rather than later.

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