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Jerome García August 4, 2023 3 min read
Finland’s National Police Board to Monitor Gambling Marketing for WRC
The enhanced monitoring seeks to prevent breaches of Finland's advertising regulations by international gambling operators that may promote their brands
The World Rally Championship (WRC), one of the most anticipated events within the racing vertical, kicked off in Finland on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Set to run through Sunday, August 6, 2023, the WRC and its side events are being closely monitored by the National Police Board in the country. The announcement about the scrutiny came earlier this week and it anticipates ensuring that international gambling services providers adhere to the established advertising regulations in Finland.
Currently, Veikkaus Oy, the Finnish government-owned betting agency, holds a monopoly for gambling activities in the country. This monopoly extends to gambling marketing services which are under the exclusive right of Veikkaus Oy. This monopoly model was established by Finland in an effort to reduce excessive gambling, problem gambling, as well as crimes related to the gambling sector.
In light of the latest announcement, National Police Board approached WRC’s organizers, asking them to inform the participants such as drivers, teams and side event organizers to ensure compliance with the exclusive gambling marketing policy. Additionally, the Board vowed to monitor closely the events, confirming that gambling marketing materials that do not comply with the regulations must be either hidden or removed.
In other words, since Veikkaus Oy holds exclusive rights to gambling advertising, international companies outside of the Finnish system must not display or promote their logos for spectators. Other materials that include the name of the gambling provider or promotional sales activities are also not allowed.
Breaches Will Be Subject to Administrative Fines
According to the National Police Board in Finland, fines will be implemented for any “intentional violation of the marketing ban of gambling services.” Judging by the announcement, businesses that are found to have breached the gambling marketing regulations would be subject to an administrative fine of a minimum of €10,000 ($10,900) to a maximum of €5 million ($5.5 million). On the other hand, individuals that breach the rules would be subject to a fine of €500 ($547) minimum to €40,000 ($43,800) maximum.
“We hope that informing the event participants in advance will suffice as a preventive measure so that no unlawful marketing occurs at the event. If, for some reason, this is not the case, we are prepared to act quickly on this.“Johanna Syvatera, senior adviser with the National Police Board in Finland
The National Police Board’s senior adviser, Johanna Syvatera, explained that there may be attempts for illegal gambling marketing by international brands. “Moreover, marketing may appear along the rally route, on competitors’ clothing and fan merchandise, on video screens and light panels, in the background screens for interviews, and brochures, stickers and other giveaways,” she explained.
According to Syvatera, the enhanced monitoring seeks to prevent illegal gambling marketing. Still, she explained that the National Police Board is prepared to enforce penalties for companies that breach the regulations.