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Finland Blacklists Betsson’s BML Group


Finland Blacklists Betsson’s BML Group
Finland Blacklists Betsson’s BML Group

The Finland National Police Board (NPB) has taken a historic step by blacklisting Betsson’s BML Group, marking the first time a gambling operator has faced such action in the country. The move prohibits any payments to Betsson's brands from Finnish players.


The decision, announced today, includes 13 brands under Betsson's BML Group. This action follows Betsson's recent legal defeat against the NPB, where it was found guilty of targeting Finnish players through marketing campaigns, violating the Finnish Lotteries Act.


In a case dating back to May last year, BML Group was fined €2.4 million for its breaches and was barred from advertising its gambling services. This ruling came after the NPB determined that the company had illegally targeted mainland Finnish players for an extended period.


Finland has been tightening its stance on unlicensed gambling, introducing payment blocks for gambling transactions at the beginning of 2023. The aim is to curb a significant black market, which currently accounts for up to half of all gambling activities in the country.


This isn’t the first time Betsson has faced regulatory challenges. It encountered similar issues in Norway's monopoly market in 2021 and was also blocked from entering the regulated Netherlands iGaming market the same year.


Meanwhile, Finland is set to overhaul its gambling landscape by ending the monopoly held by Veikkaus, the state-owned operator. The government aims to transition to an open licensing model by 2026 to mitigate gambling-related harms and increase channelization to legal offerings.


As part of these reforms, Veikkaus has inked a deal with OpenBet to update its fixed-odds betting system, aligning it with modern standards. Additionally, Veikkaus announced a significant restructuring, resulting in job cuts affecting around a quarter of its workforce.


The move to blacklist Betsson underscores Finland's commitment to enforcing strict regulations in its gambling market while preparing for significant reforms in the near future.

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