Lotteritilsynet, the Norwegian gambling authority, will conduct compliance surveillance on nine banks to monitor if they authorise payments to and from illegal operators.
Section five of Norway’s gambling act prohibits payment transactions with gambling operators that do not hold a licence in the country. The authority noted that it has the right to order banks to reject transactions to and from specific accounts and companies.
The nine banks being observed by Lotteritilsynet were not specified, but the monitoring is part of the authority’s enforcement of the ban to help reduce problem gambling in the country.
“For a long time, we have focused on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions. For the first time, we have now chosen to open a more thorough inspection of compliance,” commented Rannveig Gram Skår, Lawyer and Senior Adviser at Lotteritilsynet.
“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.”
Results from a recent population survey indicated that the ban on payments to and from illegal operators has reduced problem gambling in Norway, as it has become more difficult for the public to gamble with foreign operators.
The gambling authority has asked each bank to provide information on the measures they have taken to stop transactions to and from identified companies and account numbers, as well as compliance routines.
“The banks have three weeks to submit the documentation and information we have requested. We largely expect to see that the banks have effectively complied with our decisions,” noted Skår.
Earlier this year, Lotteritilsynet announced plans to launch a high-concentration DNS blocking campaign in 2024 to stop unlicensed online gambling firms from offering their product in the country.
However, Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association, has recently encouraged the Nordic country to switch from a monopoly system to a licensing model for online gambling to meet the “clear demand for alternatives” by players in the country.