The Norwegian Lottery Authority, known as Lotteritilsynet, has intensified its efforts to ensure that banks in the country adhere to the ban on processing transactions with unlicensed gambling operators. Norwegian law prohibits banks from facilitating deposits and withdrawals on websites without the necessary licenses, as outlined in Section 5 of the Norway Gambling Act.
While Lotteritilsynet did not specify whether any of the nine banks in question have violated this ban, it confirmed that it would implement “supervision of compliance” for each of these financial institutions. The regulatory body possesses the authority to instruct banks to block transactions involving specific accounts and companies.
In its communication with the banks, Lotteritilsynet has requested information regarding the measures in place to prevent transactions with unlicensed gambling sites. The banks are also expected to provide details about their internal processes for ensuring compliance with the transaction ban.
Lotteritilsynet lawyer Rannveig Gram Skår stated, “For a long time, we’ve focused on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions. For the first time, we have chosen to open a more thorough inspection of compliance. We know that the payment intermediary ban is an important tool to protect the Norwegian sole proprietorship model. The purpose of the model is to prevent gambling problems and other negative consequences of gambling.”
The banks have a three-week window to respond to Lotteritilsynet’s initial inquiries. The regulator anticipates that the banks have effectively adhered to its directives.
Norway remains one of the few European countries with a state-run gambling monopoly, with Norsk Tipping responsible for online casino gaming and sports betting, while Norsk Rikstoto manages horse racing. As a result, online gambling options are limited in Norway.
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) recently called on Norway to transition to a licensing model for online gambling, following the example of neighboring European markets like Sweden and Finland. EGBA Secretary-General Maarten Haijer argued that this move would help address issues such as consumers turning to unlicensed gambling sites.
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