September 29, 2023
Norway's gambling regulator, Lotteritilsynet, has announced that it will investigate nine local banks to ensure compliance with a restriction on processing transactions with unregistered operators. Section 5 of the Norway Gambling Act prevents banks from processing deposits and withdrawals on unlicensed gambling sites.
Lotteritilsynet did not specify whether the banks in question violated the provision of the Act. In addition, the regulator didn't reveal any information about the banks. However, the regulator clarified that "supervision of compliance" will be implemented for each of the nine financial institutions.
The law allows the Norwegian Gaming Foundation Authority to direct banks to stop transactions with particular gambling operators and accounts. Lotteritilsynet has asked the nine banks to furnish it with information on the measures in place to prevent illegal transactions with online casinos. Additionally, the regulator has directed the banks to provide internal procedures for adhering to the restriction.
Speaking about the inspection, Lotteritilsynet lawyer Rannveig Gram Skår said:
"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.
“We largely expect to see that the banks have effectively complied with our decisions.”
The targeted banks have a 3-week window to respond to any issues or requests the industry regulator has raised.
Norway is among the few remaining European nations with a state gambling monopoly. While Norsk Rikstoto covers horse racing, lottery Norsk Tipping regulates online casino games and sports betting. This means online gaming options are limited in the country.
Recently, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) urged Norway to move from the state monopoly system and embrace a licensing model, now legal in Sweden and Finland. In January, the regulator asked for increased vigilance from banks on gambling payments as the country seeks to counter illegal gambling services.
Emily "VegasMuse" Thompson is a seasoned online casino enthusiast from down under. With a keen eye for details and an inherent knack for strategizing, she has turned her passion for the online casino world into a successful writing career.