Finland Police Fine Eurosport €800,000 Over Gambling Ads

October 15, 2021
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Finland's National Police Board has fined television network Eurosport €800,000 ($929,000) over gambling advertisements in violation of rules protecting gambling monopoly Veikkaus, even though the broadcasts originated from outside Finland.

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Finland's National Police Board has fined television network Eurosport €800,000 ($929,000) over gambling advertisements in violation of rules protecting gambling monopoly Veikkaus, even though the broadcasts originated from outside Finland.

The police board, the main gambling regulator in Finland, also banned the Eurosport 1 channel from broadcasting gambling ads for three months.

The fine comes because most of the gambling ads were in Finnish, used Finnish banking information and used an unnamed public figure who is mainly popular in Finland, said the police board, known as Poliisihallitus.

Some of the ads also referred to Peluuri, Finland's most prominent gambling addiction prevention agency, the board said.

Gambling ads have appeared on the channel "regularly, extensively, and for several years", the board said. Eurosport can appeal the proposed fine, it said.

The board said it warned the broadcasting company in March that Veikkaus has exclusive rights to promote gambling in Finland, and that marketing gambling unlicensed in Finland to Finnish consumers is illegal even if it originates from outside the country.

It said it received no response.

"Eurosport is being broadcast from France under French legislation, where betting advertisements are allowed," a company spokeswoman told VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

"All we can say is that we are looking into the matter and have no further comments at this stage," she said.

The fine was issued on September 16 but was only made public this week.

The board said it has taken action against two other broadcasting channels and one had complied with requests.

Finland is simultaneously stepping up protection of Veikkaus' monopoly, preparing measures for payment blocking, and considering ways to fund social and charitable causes other than through gambling income.

The Prime Minister's office has also commissioned a study of proposals for alternative methods of funding such causes from 2024, in a study project that will run through to December 17.

Eurosport is a subsidiary of New York-based Discovery Communications.

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