Finnish authorities have announced that there will be a greater degree of co-operation between two agencies of the government in an attempt to crack down on illegal gambling marketing practices.
The Finnish Police and the national Transport and Communications Agency Traficom will be working together to strengthen programs that are designed to monitor and combat illegal marketing of gambling operations to Finnish consumers.
Under current Finnish law, the only operator permitted to advertise gambling products is the state-owned Veikkaus organisation. But Veikkaus has been finding it hard to compete with the marketing practices of international gambling operators. Veikkaus has committed to intensifying its efforts to push back against illegal advertising by improving its own digital marketing practices, but the influence of international gambling operators on the Finnish market remains significant, and Finnish gamblers are still effectively targeted by illegal advertisements.
Under the terms of the new arrangement, Traficom will be working with the police to take enforcement action against offending marketing communications and will have the authority to cancel a broadcasting company’s licence if they are found to be in breach of the rules on gambling advertisements. By working with the police on this issue, Finnish authorities hope to give their enforcement activities more teeth when it comes to protecting Finnish gamblers.
But Veikkaus itself has also faced criticism. Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL, last month called for tougher regulatory action against all gambling marketing and accused Veikkaus of falling short of the standards demanded by Finnish health policy when it came to their marketing communications. THL also asked the national government to look into the size of Veikkaus’s marketing budget and to restrict the promotion of what it called ‘high-risk’ games.