Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Kindred: Lotteritilsynet Should Be More Transparent

Lotteritilsynet, Norway’s gambling regulator, has long been trying to stop Trannel, a Kindred Group subsidiary, from illegally operating in the country. The situation recently came one step closer to its resolution as Trannel gave in and promised to comply with the authority’s conditions.

Trannel to Stop Actively Targeting People in the Country

Last month, the Lotteritilsynet announced that it would fine Trannel around $112,500 for every day it continues to operate without a license. This followed earlier warnings by the regulator, which Trannel failed to heed. While the maximum cap of the fine sits at around $41 million, Kindred decided to temporarily pause the daily fine amid promises that the operator would comply.

Originally, the Lotteritilsynet planned to begin fining the Kindred subsidiary starting October 5. However, the gambling company promised to introduce changes, leading to a postponement of this fine. The Lotteritilsynet will now carefully follow Trannel and check if it truly plans to do as it promised. The authority expects the Maltese company to remove all Norwegian domains, including Unibet and Maria Casino. Moreover, the operator must stop promoting its products to people in the Nordic country at once.

If Trannel fails to uphold the aforementioned conditions, the Lotteritilsynet might decide to reinstate the daily fines. However, the agreement between the regulatory body and the operator is indicative of the conversation that can exist between businesses and watchdogs.

Kindred Will Play by the Rules if They Are Fair

Kindred wanted to demonstrate its good intentions and promised that it would introduce certain changes to its international offer.

Despite that, the company issued a statement where it explained that it sees things a little bit differently from the Lotteritilsynet. Kindred reasserted that people in the country should be free to access its offerings as they are licensed in the EU/EEA area. It also pointed out that this was confirmed by Norway’s minister of culture last year.

While Kindred agreed to stop targeting locals with ads, the operator announced that it will “passively accept” customers residing in Norway. The company criticized the licensing process in Norway, claiming that it lacks the fairness needed to ensure a healthy market. The operator asserted that it believes gambling should be regulated but added that this should be a transparent process.

Kindred strongly believes that a locally licensed gambling market where responsible operators can operate under the supervision of competent authorities is the best solution for local societies, for players and for operators.”

Kindred Group statement

Kindred added that it has previously tried to obtain local Norwegian licenses and said that it would gladly obey the local rules as long as licenses are awarded in a “transparent and non-discriminatory” manner.  

The dialogue between Kindred and the Norwegian Gambling Authority is one that is interesting to follow. It shows that the regulatory affairs are rarely simple and that sometimes both sides need to compromise.

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