The Finnish Government approved sweeping changes to the country’s gambling laws during Tuesday, December 14th’s parliamentary plenary session. Most of the changes will come into force on January 1st, 2022 while payment service provider (PSP) blocking is set to begin in early 2023.
Minna Ripatti, Legal Advisor and Founding Partner of Legal Gaming, discussed the most notable changes with Gambling Industry News.
PSP blocking scheme
This is a new addition to the law that allows The National Police Board (NPB) to block payments to gambling operators and individuals that have breached marketing prohibitions in the Lotteries Act (1047/2001).
The NPB has been informed that it will be allowed to start compiling a payment blocking list (black list) in 2022. However, blocking will only begin in early 2023. Only payments from residents of Finland to the blacklisted operators will be blocked. Any payments from the operator to the player will still be allowed to go through ensuring that players can withdraw their funds after an operator is blacklisted.
An administrative penalty system
A newly created penalty system will be used against operators and individuals that breach the marketing prohibitions in the Lotteries Act. Although penalties will be issued for breaches, the government has stated that these can be avoided if the infringing operator takes immediate and sufficient action following the initial breach.
More resources to the NPB
The government has made it clear that the NPB will have the required finding and resources to operate in a supervisory capacity over the gambling industry.
It remains to be seen how the NPB will allocate its supervision resources in the future. However, it will undoubtedly pay more attention to the marketing activities carried out by private individuals (influencers etc.).
What this means in action is that affiliate activities will most certainly be under the close scrutiny of the NPB.