Malta-Based Online Casino Finds Loophole in Finnish Advertising Laws
In a bid to navigate the strict Finnish advertising regulations surrounding gambling, a Malta-based online casino has come up with an innovative workaround, raising eyebrows and catching the attention of the Helsinki police.
A Creative Gamble on the Airwaves
As of the end of June, a local radio station in Helsinki has taken to the airwaves, treating listeners to a playlist dominated by electronic beats. However, during these musical interludes, an unexpected twist emerges – advertisements and exclusive offers from the Malta-registered GGpoker online casino take center stage.
The radio station in question goes by the name Doubleclap, and its broadcasting license is valid from June 26th to the end of August. Although the license holder, We Are The Champions Entertainment, hails from Estonia, the GGpoker casino is under the management of NSUS Malta. The radio station proudly declares on its website that it is “powered by GGpoker.”
Navigating the Legal Labyrinth
The crux of the matter lies in Finland’s strict regulations, which permit only the Finnish government-owned betting agency, Veikkaus, and Paf, a gambling operator based in Åland, to market gambling activities. This makes Doubleclap’s advertising efforts a potential breach of the law. Finnish authorities are particularly concerned because the advertisements are broadcast within Finland’s borders, and the entire channel operates in Finnish rather than Estonian.
Johanna Syväterä, the chief inspector of the Finnish lottery, notes that both the Helsinki Police Department and Traficom, the authority responsible for issuing radio licenses, have flagged the station for scrutiny.
In typical cases like this, a police board conducts an investigation, providing the advertiser with an opportunity to explain their actions and halt the illegal activities. Failure to comply could result in bans and fines.
The intriguing twist in this story is that Doubleclap has an online radio site and a dedicated app in addition to its conventional broadcasts. The radio station clarifies that it holds a sponsorship agreement with GGpoker, with the online casino funding visibility on the online radio platform and app. The twist in the tale, however, is that the casino ads unintentionally make their way onto the FM radio waves. This occurs due to the alignment between the programming of the FM broadcasts and the online radio’s content.
Emphasizing its innocence in the matter, Doubleclap vehemently denies receiving any payments for the radio transmission of the advertisements.
A History of Gambling Advertising Run-Ins
Interestingly, this isn’t the first instance of foreign online casinos being promoted on Finnish radio stations against the regulations. In 2021, RK Entertainment was found to have unlawfully advertised gambling on the Finnish Kiekkoradio station and its corresponding website. The company was subsequently fined €20,000 for this violation.
The case of Doubleclap and GGpoker highlights the complexities that arise when technology, marketing, and stringent regulations intersect. As online casinos find creative ways to reach potential customers, legal boundaries are continually being tested. As the Helsinki police delve into the matter, it remains to be seen whether this innovative approach to advertising will spark a change in Finnish gambling regulations or prompt further crackdowns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Malta-based GGpoker casino advertising on a Finnish radio station?
GGpoker has partnered with the radio station Doubleclap, which is broadcasting advertisements and offers from the casino during its programming.
What are the restrictions on gambling advertising in Finland?
Only the Finnish government-owned betting agency Veikkaus and the gambling operator Paf are allowed to market gambling in Finland.
Why is Doubleclap’s advertising approach considered illegal?
The advertisements are broadcast within Finland and are in the Finnish language, which goes against the legal restrictions on gambling advertising.
How do Finnish authorities typically handle such advertising violations?
The police board investigates the matter and allows the advertiser to explain themselves. If the illegal activity is not halted, bans and fines may be imposed.
Has similar illegal advertising occurred in Finland before?
Yes, in 2021, RK Entertainment was found to have illegally advertised gambling on a Finnish radio station and website, resulting in a €20,000 fine.
September 22, 2023
September 22, 2023
September 22, 2023