Home Gambling Industry Kindred subsidiary faces massive fines if it doesn't exit the Norwegian iGaming market

Kindred subsidiary faces massive fines if it doesn't exit the Norwegian iGaming market

17 Feb 2022
3 min. read

Norway
Norway has drawn the line on gaming operator Kindred Group. Trannel International, the gaming subsidiary behind Unibet and other brands, must either leave the country immediately or face increasing penalties until it does.

Lottstift, Norway's gambling regulator, accuses Trannel of operating illegally within the country and wants the Unibet operator to be closed immediately. Lottstift warns it that if it doesn't, it will start to fine the company €120,000 ($134,000) per day until it gives in.

In a notice, the regulator called Trannel a "repeat offender" and said that it continues to ignore warnings it has received over the past few years. The operator continues to make a profit off its activities, which are illegal, it asserts.

Atle Hamar, the General Director of Norwegian Lotteries Foundation (NLF), stated that the gambling company is making NOK437 million ($48.9 million) from its activities in Norway per year.

Trannel was ordered by Lottstift and the NLF to stop all operations immediately. The company must also quickly respond to the orders to show how it will comply. Trannel will likely ignore this order, just as it ignored previous orders to halt its activities.

For more than three years, the feud between the regulator and the operator has been brewing. Trannel was furious when Norway implemented payment and IP restrictions four years back. It argued that the new rules unfairly targeted the company and were outside the regulatory authority's reach.

Trannel tried to find support from the Norwegian legal system. It sued Lottstift in 2019, claiming that Lottstift was wrong and that Trannel should have the right to offer its games, since it was licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.

The suit was rejected by both the Ministry of Culture and NLF. It was unsuccessful on subsequent appeals, as well, the last coming in March 2020. Trannel tried unsuccessfully to obtain legal relief from the government since then, also. According to the regulator, any Norwegian user who accesses the site is breaking the law.

"Six out of ten Norwegians don't know that Unibet and Maria Casino, High Roller, Bingo.com, offer illegal gaming in Norway," asserted Hamer. "We want to protect those who have problems with gambling and now hope Trannel chooses to comply with the law," he added.

Trannel's next stop is the Oslo District Court. Trannel is continuing to fight for its rights and hopes that the court will decide differently than at other times. It will find out in May, when the court will hear the case, but Trannel expects to keep operating until then.

Kindred has not publicly expressed an opinion on Lottstift's latest move.

17 Feb 2022
3 min. read