Tuesday February 10,2015 : NORDICBET AND JOKERIT SPONSORSHIP IN QUESTION
Finnish lottery regulator says professional ice-hockey team is illegally marketing NordicBet
Finland’s National Police Authority is threatening Finnish professional ice hockey team Jokerit, and by association online betting firm NordicBet, with a Euro 100 000 fine if their combined marketing activities are not curbed despite both entities claiming to run them outside of the country.
Jokerit said it is of the view that Finnish lottery legalization does not apply to its targeted marketing activities which are held outside of the country and therefore do not violate Finnish law.
Despite its opinion, Jokerit took steps to remove NordicBet’s logo from its jersey’s replacing it at one stage with “NoLogo” and another using the Cyrillic Alphabet, a stunt that Lotteries Manager Jouni Laiho said continues to advertise NordicBet in the National Police Board’s view.
Last week, Jokerit received notification prohibiting the marketing of Betsson’s NordicBet for an initial three month period. A fine of Euro 100 000 will be levied against Jokerit should it fail to comply with the prohibition which the National Police Board says may be extended for a further six months.
“Jokerit would like to emphasize that all marketing measures are implemented outside Finland when Jokerit plays guest matches. The Jokerit and NordicBet cooperation is not intended to promote NordicBet in Finland. Jokerit playing in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) appeals to a broad international audience, particularly in countries where hockey is a strong proposition,” a press statement said.
Jokerit, based in Helsinki, is hailed as the first team outside of the former eastern bloc to join the KHL. It has played in Finland’s SM-liiga since 1989 and is said to attract former NHL talent.
The Club said it is considering The National Police Board's prohibition and may appeal to the Helsinki Administrative Court, a decision which must be actioned within 30 days.