Finland’s National Police Board has imposed what it calls a conditional €2.4m fine on a Betsson subsidiary, which will be levied alongside payment blocking if it does not comply by June 3.
The board said it imposed the order against BML Group on April 7 for marketing gambling services in mainland Finland in violation of the Lotteries Act.
The order adds to the pressure Stockholm-listed Betsson and rival Kindred Group face in their home market of the Nordics, where Norway has taken enforcement action against both operators.
In the first quarter of this year, Betsson said Nordic revenue dropped 4.2 percent to €51.9m, even as overall revenue gained by 30 percent.
The Nordic revenue fell partly due to Betsson’s decision to remove all Norwegian language and associations from its websites.
Betsson’s Finnish revenue grew in the quarter, however, due to sportsbook gains, the company said.
Today's Finnish penalty order applies to all direct or indirect promotion of gambling in Finland, including using Finnish celebrities in marketing, using podcasts or videos targeting Finland, or articles promoting gambling, the board said in a statement today (May 16).
It also applies to affiliates being compensated by the company, the police board said.
“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,” the board wrote.
BML Group is also eligible to appeal the prohibition order by June 3, the board said.
The Norwegian Gambling Authority has also imposed a cease-and-desist order against BML Group, which was deferred until May 15, the company said.
A Norwegian regulator official told VIXIO GamblingCompliance that the order has been deferred again, to June 15, as the authority sees progress on its request.
Finland’s gambling scene may be in flux, as an April report by the Ministry of the Interior said the country is at a “crossroads” and must consider either introducing a licensing system or better measures to stop unlicensed gambling operators.
In January, authorities gained the power to impose payment blocking on unlicensed operators.