The National Police Board (NPB) has imposed a conditional fine of EUR 800,000 on an international broadcaster Eurosport 1 television channel recently for marketing of gambling services in Finland.
Earlier, on 16 September, the NPB prohibited Eurosport SAS (Eurosport) from marketing gambling services in Mainland Finland.
The prohibition remains valid for a period of three months and shall apply from 30 days after the date of service of the decision, unless otherwise directed by the appeal authority.
The NPB has detected that the marketing of gambling services has occurred regularly, extensively and for several years in the Eurosport 1. Gambling services have been marketed in advertisements during commercial breaks in television broadcasting.
“The supervision process in accordance with our legislation gives companies the opportunity to alter their operations and have their views heard,” said Anna-Emilia Sirén, Senior Adviser, Gambling Administration at the NPB.
Despite a number of exhortations, Eurosport has, however, continued the marketing that is considered unlawful by the authority.
Before imposing the marketing ban, the NPB has issued a statement to the company about the marketing of gambling and informed the company of the fact that only Veikkaus holds the exclusive right to market gambling services in Mainland Finland.
In its statement, the NPB, among other things, said that the marketing of gambling services on the channel violates Finland’s national legislation, regardless of the marketing being carried out from outside the Finnish borders.
Eurosport has not provided a response to the statement issued by the National Police Board in March 2021.
“The starting point for supervision is that the full range of methods, from the lenient to the strict, are used,” Sirén said, adding, “as an authority, we take the other party’s views into account, but if necessary, we prohibit the activity that we consider unlawful.”
With TV broadcasters in particular, there has been disagreement about the impact of EU law on the illegality of activities. The NPB has taken measures not only against Eurosport, but two other international TV broadcasters as well.