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Finnish National Police Board Issues Conditional Fine Against Betsson Over Illegal Marketing
Finland’s National Police Board has prohibited BML Group Ltd. from marketing its gambling services in Finland in violation of the Finnish Lotteries Act and imposed a EUR 2.4 million conditional fine to reinforce the prohibition. BML Group Ltd. is a subsidiary of Betsson AB.
The company has targeted Mainland Finland in its advertising on multiple channels and for an extensive period. The company and its subsidiaries have been presented with several opportunities to submit a statement on their views and to change their activities to comply with the views of the National Police Board. During the hearing process, the company did introduce some changes related to the marketing channels it uses for example, but the marketing targeting Mainland Finland has persisted regardless.
The National Police Board estimated that BML Group Ltd. has significant financial interest in continuing the activities and found that the illegal activities have continued for a long time regardless of the National Police Board’s previous control measures. The National Police Board has reviewed the measures undertaken by the company to reduce marketing, and they were considered a mitigating factor when the amount of the conditional fine was determined.
The prohibition imposed by the National Police Board on BML Group Ltd. applies to materials on the Group’s websites that directly or indirectly promote the sales of gambling services in Mainland Finland. The prohibition covers all marketing communications targeting consumers in Mainland Finland, having Finnish celebrities as the face of a gambling service marketing campaign in a manner that is attractive to consumers, podcasts and video podcasts targeting Mainland Finland, and articles published with the aim of directly or indirectly promoting the sales of gambling services in Mainland Finland.
The prohibition also applies to marketing of BML Group Ltd.’s services on websites other than those owned and administered by the Group in a manner that involves the Group or its representative giving financial benefits to the marketer.
To comply with the prohibition, BML Group Ltd. must refrain from publishing new sales promotion material targeting Mainland Finland on its gambling websites, remove all previously published sales promotion material from them, and refrain from marketing on other websites in the future as well.
BML Group Ltd. will be added to the list of payment blocks administered by the National Police Board when the prohibition enters into force.
If BML Group Ltd. continues to target its marketing of gambling services at Mainland Finland despite the prohibition, the National Police Board will take action to enforce the imposed conditional fine.