Former NHL player shifts focus from online casinos to land-based casinos
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Sami Helenius found a way for his website to avoid legal problems in Finland
Helsinki, Finland: Former NHL player Sami Helenius quit his casino affiliate business after being contacted by the Police of Finland last December. The website Helenius founded, Kasino Curt, has since gone through a major change in its strategy. Instead of going ahead with the original plan of promoting online casinos to Swedes, Kasino Curt is now promoting trips to land-based casinos.
Of the change of plans, Helenius said, “First, I decided to quit my business, when the Police of Finland sent me a request for clarification. They suspected that Kasino Curt is marketing online casinos to Finns and Swedes. After reading their message I immediately understood that there was no way for me to convince them that we are not targeting Finns. Things have changed since. Now we are marketing to Finns, but we are not promoting online casinos. Kasino Curt is basically a Finnish website, which combines casinos with travelling. Perhaps we are going to get the content translated into other languages as well. Time will tell. In addition, we are looking to outsource advertising sales. We have been in touch with a couple of advertising sales agencies.”
Helenius lives in Finland, where only three organizations Veikkaus, RAY and Fintoto, which merged in the beginning of last year, are allowed to run gambling operations under the Lotteries Act. To avoid legal problems he decided to target Swedish casino enthusiasts with Swedish marketing materials. Swedish is Finland’s second official language, but as the Swedish-speakers comprise just 5.4 % of the total Finnish population or 4.9 % without Åland, a self-governing archipelago of islands off the west coast of Finland, Helenius and his consultants were confident that the site would not be considered illegal. They were wrong though. Many Finnish newspapers covered the story in detail.
Sami Helenius (born January 22, 1974) is a retired Finnish ice hockey player. Known for his role as an enforcer, Helenius played for Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks during his time in NHL. Helenius became known as the “Fighting Finn,” as he was the first Finn in NHL known as an enforcer. Kasino Curt was named after Swedish ice hockey coach Curt Lindström, who coached the Finnish men’s national ice hockey team between 1993 and 1997, winning Finland’s first Ice Hockey World Championships gold medal in 1995.
Source: European Gaming Industry News