Lottstift, Norway’s gaming authority, has claimed a key court victory in its long-running battle against Trannel International Limited, a Kindred Group Plc subsidiary operating in the Nordic market. The Borgarting Court of Appeal’s approval of the original judgement strengthens Lottstift’s authority in protecting the Norwegian market from illicit gambling activity.
Final Confirmation of Illicit Gambling Services
Lottstift’s initial verdict that Trannel’s brands, including Unibet, Mariacasino, Storspiller, and Bingo.com, supplied illegal online gambling services to Norwegian users was officially confirmed on June 1 by the Borgarting Court of Appeal. This certification enhances Lottstift’s efforts to protect the market from unlawful operators and represents a watershed point in the country’s fight against illegal gaming.
Lottstift’s Successful Legal Strategy
Atle Hamar, Lottstift’s Regulatory Director, expressed pleasure with the verdict, emphasizing that the lack of support for Trannel’s point of view justifies the authority’s robust and well-established efforts in eliminating illegal operators from the Norwegian market. The decision not only validates the Norwegian exclusive rights model’s consistency with EEA law, but it also underlines the authority’s responsibility to safeguard consumers and preserve legal and ethical norms.
Penalties levied on Trannel
During the original disagreement, Lottstift levied a significant daily fine of NOK 1.2 million (€100,000) on Trannel until its final withdrawal from the Norwegian market. The fine, however, has been postponed until December 2022. Regardless, neither the Ministry of Culture and Equality nor the Lottery Board anticipated Trannel to accept Norwegian clients quietly by temporarily pulling its brand from the nation.
Kindred Group’s Legal Expenses and Defence
Trannel’s parent business, Kindred Group, has repeatedly claimed that Lottstift lacked a definitive legal precedent under Norwegian or EEA law to restrict its subsidiary’s operations. Kindred asserted that it had followed Norwegian gaming legislation in order to limit its exposure to domestic consumers. However, the verdict now requires Kindred to pay the state’s legal fees expended during the dispute, cementing Lottstift’s triumph.
Government Backing for Lottstift’s Activities
Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality, praised the state’s victory and emphasised the importance of the ruling in safeguarding consumers and upholding legal and ethical standards. She noted that the Borgarting Court of Appeal’s judgement reinforces the legality of Lottstift’s activities, as many gambling-related lawsuits have consistently supported the state’s position.
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