Fighting Finn’s frustration brings change of focus for Kasino Curt

Fighting Finn’s frustration brings change of focus for Kasino Curt

Friday, July 6, 2018 Posted by Craig Davies
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Previous affiliate business now promotes land-based casinos

A casino affiliate business closed down after police intervention has been relaunched, with a change of focus to the promotion of land-based casinos.

Kasino Curt, launched by retired NHL enforcer Sami Helenius, was forced to shut down its operations after Finnish police sent a clarification request regarding the site.

Targeting the Swedish market, amongst the questions by authorities involved whether Finnish nationals could gamble on sites advertised, which they could due to blocking procedures not being in place.

Regarding the legal problems, and the defence of its monopoly, which sees Veikkaus, RAY and Fintoto hold exclusive rights to run gambling operations under the nation’s Lotteries Act, Helenius told TotallyGaming.com: “The potential legal problems were a big disappointment. I still believe that it’s ridiculous to think that a Swedish website would be targeting people living in Finland. Yes, Swedish is the second official language of the country, but Swedish is the mother tongue of just about 300 000 people living in Finland. The Swedish-speaking population of Finland is a very, very small linguistic minority. Sweden has a population of over 10 million people.”

Helenius explained: “I have to add that Finland has a double-faced gambling monopoly. The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has said that the gambling machines should be removed from the supermarkets, to reduce the harms that problem gambling causes, but it has not happened as these gambling machines are such a great source of revenue for the state-owned gambling company Veikkaus.

“In Finland, gambling machines can be found from most supermarkets, kiosks, bars, restaurants, gas stations…The whole country is full of them.

“It’s not surprising that THL estimates that there are about 130,000 people with a gambling problem in Finland, which is a big number compared to the total population of Finland. Ironically enough, Finland has managed to convince the EU that the aim of the monopoly system used in Finland is to restrain the social and health related harms caused by games,” continued Helenius.

“If the EU investigated properly the real motives behind the monopoly, it would be the end of the gambling monopoly in Finland.

“And what I find incredibly irritating is this: In order to protect this gambling monopoly, which should not even exist, the Finnish authorities prevented us from promoting online casinos to people living in Sweden.”

Regarding the new direction taken by Kasino Curt, and the aims for the site moving forward, Helenius concluded: “I wanted to do something with the website. I think it’s a cool site, which has a good chance of becoming a well-known brand. Besides there are no other Finnish publications, which combine land-based casinos, interesting stories and trips. It’s an interesting niche.

“We will outsource a lot. We can be very flexible and creative, while keeping the costs low. I am sure that we can create something nice.

“If the gambling monopoly was replaced by a licensing system in Finland, then we could once again consider promoting online casinos. Right now it’s not possible.

“The aim is to make the most of this new situation, have fun and make money at the same time. “Obviously monetization would have been easier with online casinos, but on the other hand this new approach gives us better chances to create unique content. Anyway, it’s quite difficult to set very specific goals at this point.”

Totally Gaming says: The frustration felt by Helenius comes across very clearly, with high hopes obviously felt for the initial aims established for Kasino Curt. It is, however, reassuring to hear that the problems faced should now be behind Helenius and Kasino Curt, with a new niche found and expectations once again starting to soar after having had to close down the business towards the end of 2017.

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