Finnish National Police Board penalizes BML Group for breaching Lotteries Act
BML Group, owned by Betsson, faces a $2.6 million conditional fine and a marketing prohibition in Finland after violating the country's Lotteries Act
Finland's National Police Board has taken action against BML Group, owned by Betsson, by prohibiting the operator from marketing its services in the country due to violations of the Finnish Lotteries Act.
The board imposed a conditional fine of $2.6 million to reinforce the prohibition and warned that further penalties would be imposed if the operator continues to breach the regulations.
Despite multiple warnings and some adjustments made by BML Group, the operator continued advertising to Finnish customers through various channels over an extended period.
Recognizing the operator's financial interest in the region, the board deemed the breaches severe but considered the measures taken to reduce marketing when determining the size of the conditional fine.
Under the prohibition, BML Group is forbidden from promoting its products and targeting customers in Mainland Finland, encompassing all marketing communications, partnerships with Finnish celebrities, podcasts, video podcasts, and articles in Finnish that promote BML Group's gambling services to local audiences.
Additionally, the operator is prohibited from paying to marketers for marketing its gambling products on external sites and must remove all previously posted materials targeting Finland.
Once the prohibition comes into effect on June 3, 2023, the operator will be added to the National Police Board's administered payment blocks list. BML Group has the option to appeal the fine before that date.
The move to restrict BML Group's activities comes as Finland contemplates potential reforms to its state monopoly on gambling, driven by concerns about offshore gambling rates indicating the current system may not be effective as intended.