Norway regulator orders Kindred to withdraw or face NOK437m fine

The Norwegian Gambling Authority has ordered Unibet operator Kindred to stop illegally offering gambling in the country, threatening a fine of NOK1.2m (£99,447/€118,649) per day if its activity continues.

The Authority pledged to continue the fines, if necessary, until the amount meets Kindred’s annual gross profit from the country, which it has estimated to be NOK437m.

The fine will begin two weeks after the Authority comes to a decision on whether to implement it,

In April 2019 the Authority issued an order against Kindred subsidiary Trannel International, through which Unibet operates, to prevent it from offering gambling in Norway without a licence.

This was appealed to the Ministry of Culture and the Lottery Authority Board, but the appeal was not upheld.

At the time, the regulator noted that the sites can be viewed in Norwegian, with deposits and bonuses are in Norwegian currency and pointed out Kindred offers Norwegian-language customer support. In addition, it marketed its offerings through TV commercials that aired in Norway – but were broadcast on satellite channels based in other countries – and used Norwegian ambassadors, Norwegian press release services and Norwegian social media channels.

During the appeal process, Trannel requested that the Oslo District Court assess the decision to prohibit Unibet from operating in Norway. This case will be heard at Oslo District Court in May 2022.

“When a gambling company that operates illegally in Norway can earn NOK437m on its illegal activity within a year, we owe it to the Norwegian people to do what we can to stop the illegal activity,” said Atle Hamar, director of the Norwegian Gambling Authority.

“The illegal gambling offer has not yet ended. We take that seriously. Therefore, the Authority warns that it will now make a decision on a coercive fine if Trannel does not stop offering illegal gambling in Norway.”

The fine will be revoked if Trannel submits a proposal on how it plans to stop offering illegal gambling in Norway.

Author: Raymond Fleming