Finland police blacklisted Betsson and BML Group

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Finland police blacklisted Betsson and BML Group

Finland’s National Police Board (NPB) blacklists Betsson-owned brands, marking the first instance of a gambling operator being blocked in the country. Transfers to these brands are mandated to be blocked by banks and payment providers.

Betsson and its subsidiary BML Group faced the first-ever gambling operator block in Finland, with the National Police Board blacklisting 13 brands. The move came after a court ruled against Betsson, fining BML Group €2.4 million for violating the Finnish Lotteries Act through targeted marketing to Finnish customers.

Currently, Veikkaus, the state-controlled operator, holds the exclusive rights to offer gambling products in Finland. However, Finland aims to establish a competitive regulated gambling market by 2026, prompting Veikkaus to prepare for the transition, including workforce reductions and a collaboration with OpenBet to modernize its fixed-odds betting services.

Despite a decrease in overall gambling participation, a recent survey by the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) revealed an increase in problem gambling in Finland. Approximately 4.2 percent of respondents, equivalent to 150,000 individuals nationally, reported experiencing problem gambling or being “at-risk,” marking a notable increase from the previous 3 percent in similar surveys.

Men were disproportionately affected, with 6.6 percent reporting seriously problematic gambling compared to 1.8 percent of women.