The National Police Board of Finland has revealed that it suspended BML Group from marketing its services in the country on April 7th after the company was found guilty of violating the Finnish Lotteries Act. The NPB findings resulted in the implementation of a $2.6 million worth of conditional fine to reinforce the ban.
As revealed by the Board, BML Group, which is owned by the Swedish online gambling company Betsson AB, had advertised its services to Finnish consumers for an extended period and on various channels. The operator had already received a warning to stop the promotional activity in question on multiple occasions. After the warning, some changes were initiated by the company which, however, continued to advertise its products and services to Finnish customers.
As a result of its continued violations and an investigation held into the company, the National Police Board came up with a conclusion that BML Group has a significant financial interest in remaining operational in the region. According to the board, the gambling company’s violations are severe but it still took some measures aimed at reducing its marketing in the country. The authorities have taken into account the fact that the company has already taken some measures to comply with their requirements at the time they determined the size of the aforementioned conditional fine.
Finnish National Police Board also warned the company that it would take further steps to impose the conditional fine if the operator continues to misbehave.
All Forms of Marketing Communications and Partnerships Covered by the Ban
As part of the suspension faced by BML Group, the company is no longer allowed to advertise its products and services across the country, which basically means that it would no longer be able to target customers from mainland Finland. The ban covers all forms of marketing communications, podcasts and video podcasts targeting local consumers, as well as articles in Finnish that are aimed at the promotion of the gambling services offered by BML Group, and partnerships with local celebrities.
Apart from that, the gambling operator is no longer allowed to promote its products on platforms other than its own and in a way that would make sure the marketer receives a certain payment from the group in return for promoting its services.
No sales promotion materials targeting Finnish residents are allowed to be published by BML Group even on the company’s own online gambling platforms. In addition, the company must make sure it removes all materials it once posted there.
The country’s National Police Board also revealed that it is set to add the gambling company to its list of administered payment bans once the suspension comes into force. The body confirmed that the decision is scheduled to enter into force on June 3rd, 2023. The operator has until then to try to appeal the conditional fine.
Back in 2022, the Finnish Government discussed the idea of eliminating the state monopoly that is currently held by the Veikkaus. At the time, the chief executive officer of the entity, Velipekka Nummikoski, questioned the existing system and shared that the local gambling sector may need some overhaul. At the same time, the increased presence of offshore gambling operators in the country has caused some concern and suggested that the current monopoly system might not be working the way it should be.