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InternationalPress Release

Betsson officially blacklisted in Finland

Betsson has become the first MGA-licensed online gambling operator to be blacklisted by Finland’s National Police Board (NPB). Betsson’s parent company, BML Group was the first gaming business to be added to the public blacklist of the Finnish National Police Board.

This resulted in all banks and payment service providers needing to block payments to Betsson Group’s 14 brands in Finland. Furthermore, failure to comply with this will lead to penalties and sanctions.

This came after Betsson lost a case in a Finland court regarding targeting the Finnish market and violating the country’s Lottery Act. Despite appealing the NPB’s decision to impose a fine, Betsson received temporary relief from paying it until after the appeals process.

Finland commits to licensing model by 2026

The Finnish National Police Board announced a blacklist of gaming firms in December 2022 to protect the market. This results from Finland’s current monopoly model failing to channel traffic effectively. A government report revealed that about 50% of traffic goes to offshore operators. The Finnish government recommended switching to an international licensing model or increasing enforcement to improve channelization. The new government, led by the Social Democratic Party, plans to introduce a licensing model by 2026. Betsson’s appearance on the NPB blacklist may hinder their chances of obtaining a license under the new regulations.

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Finland’s regulatory expert Antti Koivula told, “It is interesting to see if BML will apply for leave to appeal from the Supreme Administrative Court, and if it is granted. How this will potentially influence BML’s chances of getting a license from Finland once the market opens in a few years. The appeal process in the Supreme Administrative Court might take a few years. It certainly would not be a healthy starting point for a licensing application to have a fresh Supreme Administrative Court decision stating that you’ve breached the law for an extended period of time. “

Betsson to appeal case to Supreme Court

A Betsson spokesperson criticized a court ruling and stated their intention to appeal the case to the Supreme Administrative Court. The spokesperson emphasized that BML Group is cooperating with the National Police Board and is compliant with the prohibition order. Denying any targeting of Finland in their offerings. They believe no fine should be payable due to compliance and intend to appeal the ruling. The spokesperson praised the Finnish government’s plan to introduce a licensing system.More so, believing it will enhance player protection, promote market efficiency, and improve player experience. They see it as aligning better with player demands and preferences in the Finnish market.

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