Finnish Court Suspends Order to Block Payments to Betsson

Several weeks ago, Finland blacklisted Betsson subsidiary BML Group, marking the first time it had taken such action against a Malta Gaming Authority-licensed firm. Under this ruling, Finnish banks, payment providers and cryptocurrency entities were required to block all payments from Finland to the operator.

The decision to blacklist BML Group was made by the Finnish National Police Board. Betsson’s subsidiary made it to the list after the Helsinki Administrative Court imposed a record-breaking EUR 2.4 million fine on BML Group for alleged targeting of the local market.

Betsson, however, disagreed with this fine and vowed to continue defending its interest and contact a higher court. A spokesperson has now told NEXT.io that the Supreme Administrative Court has decided to suspend the order until Betsson completes its appeal process.

Betsson will also not be required to pay the EUR 2.4 million fine until the process is finalized. The National Police Board’s official website also removed Betsson’s name from the blacklist, confirming the report.

For reference, Betsson recently transferred its brands to a new holding entity to allegedly counter the payment blockade. Betsson’s gaming services for customers residing in the EU, excluding Sweden and Ireland, were transferred to Rizk Nordic Limited, a Malta Gaming Authority-licensed entity.

Finland to End Veikkaus’ Monopoly

For reference, Finland still employs a monopoly model under which only one company, in this case Veikkaus, can offer gambling legally. While the country has taken steps to end the monopoly, the reforms will likely take some time.

The Nordic nation’s gambling monopoly said that it would welcome the introduction of a licensing model but noted that the regulatory changes would likely force it to reduce its workforce.

Under the current plans, Veikkaus’ monopoly should be phased out by 2026.

In the meantime, the Nordic nation continues to struggle with high problem gambling rates. According to a study compiled by the Institute for Health and Welfare, approximately 150,000 citizens may have gambling problems.  

The study’s concerning findings confirmed that regulatory changes are needed and that people need a better-regulated market.