Sami Helenius: 'The Finnish Gambling Monopoly is Absurd'

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Speaking exclusively to Gambling911.com Wednesday, former NHL player Sam Helenius, known as "the enforcer" during his player days, says he is thrilled his casino promotion website, Kasino Curt, is back up and running after the Finnish police warned late last year he could be in violation of breaking local laws by marketing an online casino within that nation that targets its citizens.

“I decided to quit my business, when the Police of Finland sent me a request for clarification,” Helenius said at the time. “They suspected that we are really marketing to Finns, not to Swedes.

“After reading their message I immediately understood that there was no way for me to convince them that we are not targeting Finns. Among other things, they wanted to know if Finns could gamble on the gambling sites we wanted to advertise in kasinocurt.com.

“Finland does not block gambling sites, so of course it’s possible. Finland defends its monopoly very, very aggressively, even when the “aggressor” is not targeting Finnish casino enthusiasts. This is very disappointing and frustrating, as I had big plans for Kasino Curt.”

Helenius is back and speaking to Gambling911.com regarding his decision to relaunch the site.

”I am very happy about the fact that we found a way to avoid legal problems," Helenius tells Gambling911.com.  "Monetization is going to be more difficult now, but on the other hand this new approach gives us a good chance to create unique content. There are not other websites like this in Finland.

“We still need to solve many things. We will probably outsource advertising sales and some other parts of the business. If we are flexible and creative, we have a chance to create something nice.

“The Finnish gambling monopoly is absurd. Finland has somehow managed to convince the EU that the aim of the monopoly system is to restrain the social and health related harms caused by gambling. Anyone, who has visited Finland, understands that this is not true."

Helenius went on to illustrate the irony here.

“The country is full of slots. There are slots everywhere. Literally everywhere.

“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. It has not happened. And it’s not about to happen, as these slots are a great source of revenue for the state-owned gambling company Veikkaus.

“THL has estimated that there are about 130 000 people with a gambling problem in Finland. It’s a big number for a small country.”

Helenius is not buying Finland's posturing when it comes to gambling concerns.

"If Finland really was worried about gambling problems, it would remove the slots from supermarkets, bars, restaurants and gas stations immediately. It's going to be a cold day in hell, when that happens..."

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com

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