Article written by Antti Koivula, consulting legal advisor at Legal Gaming
Two Curaçao based gambling operators, Nordic Tech Services N.V. and Viking Technology N.V. (“Companies”) had been aggressively marketing and selling their gambling products via phone for the Finnish customers, which attracted a lot of negative attention among the Finns. Multiple complaints were made for the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) and for the National Police Board (“NPB”) starting from April 2020 and in September 2020 the NPB opened administrative proceedings against the Companies.
The NPB’s communication with the Companies was not fruitful with the Companies underlining the fact that none of their operations were performed from Finland and thus the NPB lacked authority. As the scope of the Finnish Lotteries Act covers foreign gambling operators to the extent their services are available in Finland, the NPB proceeded with the case. In the end of January 2022, the case had proceeded to the point in which the NPB issued prohibition orders and conditional fines for the Companies. There were slight delays with the delivery of the formal decisions and thus the prohibition orders entered into force only in May 2022.
The prohibition orders are in force for 12 months period renewable by a maximum 12 months per time. As the PSP-blocking system in Finland is starting in the beginning of 2023, this means that the Companies will be the first ones to be placed on the payment blocking list (“Blacklist”) if they remain uncompliant. As the NPB has currently several pending cases against MGA licenced operators, it remains to be seen who will be first ones to follow the Curaçao competitors to the Blacklist.
The NPB’s public statement is available in English at: