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Will Betsson exit the Norwegian market because of the Norwegian Gaming Authority?

Betsson and four subsidiaries have been instructed to exit Norway by the Norwegian Gaming Authority (Lottstift).


Online casino regulations and licensing are an ever-evolving and important part of the industry as it grows. Countries around the world are either changing how they view online gambling or they're fiercely protecting their current laws.

Norway is one of the strictest countries in the world with regard to its online gambling laws. Currently, there are only two legal betting sites available to Norweigan players - Norsk Riskoto and Norsk Tipping.

While Norway tightly holds the reigns of how punters can access online gambling in the country, they are also policing who can target players within the country.

Betsson receives the order to exit Norway

Betsson's BML Group was recently informed by the Norweigan Lotteries Authority (or Lottstift) that they have been illegally targeting Norwegian players and must stop offering gambling without a Norwegian permit.

In a letter considered to be the prior notice pursuant to the Public Administration Act, Lottstift accused the BML Group of giving players in the country the chance to play lotteries and take part in real-money gambling via sites that are "clearly aimed at Norway".

Currently, only horse racing, lotteries, sports betting, poker, keno, and scratch card games are legal - and only at Norway's legal betting sites.

The letter also stated that Betsson's BML Group is providing these gambling opportunities via a website with a Norweigan name and that uses Norwegian symbols. It was not revealed which site they are referring to but Lottstift feels that this site is aimed purely at Norway as it also airs ads on Norwegian television.

MGA licensed casinos in Norway

The Kindred Group has also recently received a similar letter from Lottstift. The regulator feels that specifically targeting players in Norway when operating abroad is illegal and that even though both the Kindred Group and the BML Group are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, the Lottery Act and the Gambling Act apply.

Betsson and the BML Group have not provided public comment on the letter or what they plan to do following the letter from Lottstift.

The Norweigan Lotteries Authority seems to be throwing its weight around and threatening brands that have a good standing in the industry by talking of imposing crushing coercive fines.

While coercive fines are not necessarily a punishment, the Lottstift itself states they can be devasting, saying: “A coercive fine is not a punishment, and the obligation to pay a coercive fine is not depending on guilt, but is triggered when an illegal relationship occurs, and should be set so high that it does not pay financially for the person responsible not to comply with the decision.”

As far as we can tell, Betsson's BML Group has been nothing but compliant. This could be a case of the Norweigan Lotteries Authority feeling threatened but for now, we will closely follow the story as it develops. Be sure to visit CasinoWow for more information on this matter as it unfolds.

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