The gambling regulator in Norway has warned Kindred Group that it could face a fine of as much as $42.7m if it continues to operate in the country. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A potentially hefty bill
Norway’s gambling regulator has issued a warning to Kindred Group that it could face a fine of as much as NOK437m (US$42.7m) if it continues to operate in the nation. Lotteritilsynet said that Kindred Group is illegally operating in the country and could have to deal with the hefty compulsory fine within one year.
Lotteritilsynet explained that the daily fine can get as big as the operator’s annual gross profit, which the regulator believes to be about NOK437m (US$42.7m). It plans to fine Kindred Group’s Trannel subsidiary NOK1.198m (US$117,279) each day that it remains in the Norwegian market.
regulator has previously issued warnings to Kindred Group
Lotteritilsynet officially made its decision on Wednesday; the daily fine would kick in three weeks later. The regulator has previously issued warnings to Kindred Group about possible penalty action against the operator if it did not leave the market.
Two opposing views
While Trannel does not currently have any sort of license that allows it to operate in Norway, its Bingo, Storspiller, Maria Casino, and Unibet brands are currently accessible to people in the nation.
Kindred has commented in the past on the matter, claiming that it is not breaching any sort of Norwegian laws. As a result, there is no planning 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 people in Norway to accept and participate in cross-border services, including gambling.
A long running battle
Lotteritilsynet first told Trannel to cease its operations in April 2019. Trannel appealed the order and tried to question its legality in the Oslo District Court. Following the appeals process, it was found that the gambling regulator’s original decision was valid. There have been 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 presence all around the world. It offers a variety of products, including online casinos, sports betting, online bingo, and online poker through its nine brands.
Norwegian Lottery and Foundation Authority department director Henrik Nordal explained there is an obligation by the Norwegian authorities to stop the illegal operations to help the people of Norway and gambling addicts. Nordal said: “Surveys show that six out of ten Norwegians do not know Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller, and Bingo are illegal gambling in Norway.”