Betsson Group faces payment ban in Finland

Finland flag sticking out of a paper world map.
Image courtesy of hyotographics/

Betsson Group has encountered a setback in Finland, with one of its subsidiaries, BML Group, being included in the country’s blacklist of unlicensed operators.

Finland’s National Police Board (NPB) has placed Betsson Group alongside several other corporate entities on a list, banning them from engaging with banks, payment services, and virtual currency providers in Finland.

This marks the first time such action has been taken against a company licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The decision follows BML Group’s defeat in a legal dispute against the Finnish National Police Council, resulting in substantial repercussions. Among these consequences, the National Bank of Finland has ordered a cessation of all money transfers to BML.

A government inquiry conducted in 2023 delved into the presence of unlicensed operators in the Finnish market, revealing an illegal betting sector estimated to be between €500m and €550m, affecting Finnish state-owned gaming monopoly Veikkaus’ profit-making ability and putting the state ownership monopoly under question. 

Olli Sarekoski, Veikkaus CEO, accepted the report and commented at the time: “The report is good and balanced. It is important that the amount of gaming margin outside the exclusive rights system is confirmed to be in the range of €500m to €550m, and thus also in the category we presented based on H2 Gambling Capital’s information.”

Under the new model, Veikkaus would retain control over physical casinos, slot machines, land-based betting, lotteries, and raffle games, while private operators would have the opportunity to obtain licences for online sports betting and igaming. 

This news follows a partnership between the firm and OKTO in January, with Betsson leveraging OKTO.CASH’s network of over 13,000 points of sale across Greece.