Betsson Group Blacklisted in Finland 27 March 2024

Betsson Group, an Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) licence online gambling company made history in the gaming industry. But not in the way you would expect.

Recently, the BML Group that belongs to Betsson, which owns 14 brands including Star Casino, Betsafe and Betsson, was publically blacklisted in Finland. The company became the first blacklisted gaming company in Finland to be blacklisted by the National Police Board (NPB).

The decision was taken on February 19 2024. 

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What is the history? 

BML Group lost a case against the NPB that started in May 2023. The case was brought against the company for violating the Lottery Act of Finland by running advertising and marketing campaigns to Finnish players for an extensive period.

According to the Lottery Act, the gaming sector is under monopoly by state-owned Veikkaus which manages gambling activities in the country. This means offshore companies are banned from having activities in the state.

What does the public blacklisting mean? 

It means that banks, payment service providers and cryptocurrency businesses are prohibited from processing payments from Finland to blacklisted companies.

If the payment institution fails to comply, they can be subject to penalties and sanctions.

Betsson also received a fine of €2.4 million as a result of the case decision. But to the benefit of Betsson, the Helsinki Administrative Court allowed them to postpone payment until the appeal process is completed.

Betsson appealed to the Supreme Court and will have a decision in the next few years.

A new licensing model for Finland  

With the appeal process still ongoing, there has been an interesting development in Finland. Recent elections brought a coalition led by the Social Democratic Party took power after the April 2023 elections in Finland.

The election had far-reaching implications for the gambling industry in Finland.

According to a 2023 gambling sector study by the government, it was discovered that 50% of traffic to gambling sites was to offshore operators. As a result, the study brought forward two recommendations.

The two recommendations were:

  • Increase enforcement to improve channelisation to the local monopoly OR

  • Develop an international licensing model.

The licensing model is planned for execution by 2026.


This development plays to the favour of Betsson’s appeal who believe it would promote player protection, increase market efficiency and improve the player experience at online casinos.

Despite this development, Betsson being blacklisted complicates its possibility of taking advantage of the new licensing model.  Although, the success of the appeal may help clear the tainted image of the gambling regulators in Finland.


Betsson BML Group National Police Board online casino gambling Finland appeal the Lottery Act licencing payments

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