Norwegian gaming regulator orders BML Group to leave market

Norway has promised to take tougher action on unlicensed gaming.
Norway has promised to take tougher action on unlicensed gaming.

The regulator Lottstift has ordered BML Group to stop offering gambling to Norwegian players. 

Norway.- The national lotteries authority Lottstift has ordered BML Group to stop offering gambling services to Norwegian players. 

The regulator has notified the Malta-based group that it found its brands, which include Betsson, Betsafe, Nordicbet, Norgesautomaten and CasinoEuro, were offering gambling and lottery without a licence. It said the group had been using sites with Norwegian names and symbols and had marketed them on Norwegian television.

As such, Lottstift said the group’s sites were “clearly aimed at Norway” in violation of the Lottery Act and the Gambling Act. It has notified the company and its three directors via the contact details available on the Malta Business registry.

It said: “Although BML Group’s gambling licence is provided by the Maltese authorities, the illegal gaming offer takes effect in Norway by the company offering the games on the internet, inviting players in the Norwegian market to participate, and allowing Norwegians to register as players,” 

“The Lottery Act and the Gambling Act also apply to gambling from abroad when the offer is directed at Norway. The Norwegian Lotteries Authority’s work with the payment service ban has also revealed that BML Group Limited is actively seeking to circumvent the Norwegian ban on arranging payment to and from foreign gambling companies.”

Lottstift has also issued a similar notice to Kindred Group’s Trannel International subsidiary of Kindred Group. It may impose fines on operators that breach Norwegian gaming legislation. 

Under Norway’s monopoly system, the state-controlled company Norsk Tipping is the only operator licensed to offer online casino games.

In May, the national gambling regulator Lotteritilsynet said it would fine the SEO service provider SEOButler NOK2,000 (€198) per day for promoting illegal gambling websites.

Lottstift added in its letter to BML: “If the illegal relationship does not cease after the decision has been made, the Norwegian Lotteries Authority will consider notifying coercive fines that run until the illegal gambling offer has been rectified or terminated.

“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.”

Norway promises tougher sanctions for unlicensed igaming

Presenting its new unified Gambling Act, the Norwegian government has promised tougher action on unlicensed igaming operations that target players in Norway.

One of the ways it aims to do that by allowing the imposition of fines on any other company that tries to offer gambling products to players in Norway, including fines against affiliates that promote them.

In this article:
gambling regulation online gambling