Former National Hockey League enforcer Sami Helenius’ brief foray into online gambling has been checked into the boards by police in Finland.
In late October, Helenius announced the launch of Kasino Curt, a new online gambling affiliate marketing site he claimed was focused on Swedish gamblers. Late last week, Helenius posted a notice to the site under the funereal inscription: “RIP Kasino Curt: 25.10.2017 – 8.12.2017.”
Helenius wrote that his intention was for Kasino Curt to become “the first legitimate online casino marketing site in Finland.” As Finland’s gambling market is reserved for the state-owned Veikkaus monopoly, Helenius made sure everyone understood that Kasino Curt’s plan was to produce “Swedish-language material for Swedish adults.”
However, Swedish is Finland’s second official language and Finland’s internet watchdogs don’t (yet) block Finns’ access to internationally licensed online gambling sites. As a result, Helenius was visited by members of the Finnish National Police, who’d determined that Kasino Curt was likely in violation of the nation’s gambling laws.
Helenius protested this “very annoying” situation, suggesting that if he truly wanted to target Finnish punters, he’d have done so in English, Finland’s unofficial second language. Helenius also said that if his real target market was Finnish punters, he’d have set up his site outside Finland’s borders, where Finnish authorities would have been powerless to stop him.
Helenius said that, while many online gambling operators had “shown interest” in Kasino Curt, he recognized that you can’t fight city hall, and therefore opted to subject Kasino Curt to “painless euthanasia.” Helenius thanked everyone who’d showed interest in his brief affiliate adventure, noting that while the site was dead, “our lives continue.”
Helenius named his site after a Swedish hockey coach who led the Finnish men’s national hockey squad to a World Championship gold medal in 1995. Helenius was known as the ‘Fighting Finn’ during his NHL career due to his willingness to drop the gloves when his team needed an emotional lift. Pity his online gambling career lasted only slightly longer than a five-minute major penalty.