Norway’s gambling regulator has warned Kindred Group that it could face a fine of up to $42.7 million if it continues to operate in the country. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A potentially substantial bill
Norway’s gambling regulator has warned Kindred Group that it could face a fine of up to NOK 437 million ($42.7 million) if it continues to operate in the country. Lotteritilsynet said Kindred Group is operating illegally in the country and may face the heavy mandatory fine within a year.
Lotteritilsynet explained that the daily fine can become as large as the operator’s annual gross profit, which the regulator estimates at around NOK 437 million ($42.7 million). It plans to impose a fine of 1.198 million NOK (117,279 USD) on the Trannel subsidiary of Kindred Group (117,279 USD) for each day it remains on the Norwegian market.
the regulator previously issued warnings to Kindred Group
Lotteritilsynet officially made its decision on Wednesday; the daily fine would come into force three weeks later. The regulator has previously issued warnings to Kindred Group about possible sanctions against the operator if it does not exit the market.
Two opposing points of view
Although Trannel does not currently have any sort of license to operate in Norway, its Bingo, Storspiller, Maria Casino and Unibet brands are currently available to people in the country.
Kindred has commented on the matter in the past, saying it’s not breaking any kind of Norwegian laws. As a result, he does not plan to exit the market. Currently, Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are the only licensed online gambling operators in Norway. Kindred Group claims that its operations in Norway are not illegal because it is not illegal for Norwegians to accept and participate in cross-border services, including gambling.
A long drawn out battle
Lotteritilsynet first told Trannel to cease operations in April 2019. Trannel appealed the order and attempted to challenge its legality in Oslo District Court. Following the appeal process, the original decision of the gambling regulator was found to be valid. There were subsequent legal battles and appeals; the most recent judgment came on September 2 when the Oslo District Court sided with Lotteritilsynet.
Kindred Group is an online gambling operator with a worldwide presence. It offers a variety of products including online casinos, sports betting, online bingo and online poker through its nine brands.
Director of the Norwegian Lotteries and Foundations Authority department, Henrik Nordal, explained that the Norwegian authorities have an obligation to stop illegal operations to help the Norwegian people and drug addicts. Nordal said: “Surveys show that six out of ten Norwegians do not know that Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and Bingo are illegal gambling in Norway.”