Malta-licensed online gaming operators have illegally been targeting gamblers in Norway. This is the assertion of the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA), known as the Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet, which is now going after six companies for violating the country’s laws.
According to the Times of Malta, Norway has banned all transactions related to the six “illegal” firms, which include the Kindred Group, Dino Gaming Ltd., the Betsson Group, Co-Gaming, Ltd., L&L Europe Players Ltd. and the Gaming Innovation Group (GIG). The first two received warnings this month, while the others had been issued warning letters last November.
As a result of the ban, banks in Norway can no longer transfer money to any account held by the companies. The NGA asserts that they were all marketing their services in Norway and providing online betting services to Norwegians without state permission.
Only two companies are authorized to provide gambling services in the country – sportsbook and casino games operator Norsk Tipping and race betting operator Norsk Rikstoto. The crackdown comes as Norway tries to clean up its local gambling space and prevent unauthorized companies from operating there.
Earlier this year, GIG, Co-Gaming, Betsson and Kindred formed a new group, the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gambling. That group was created in an effort to lobby the country to relax its gambling policies so that new companies could enter the space.
Kindred has already filed suit against the NGA, asserting that its policies and removal of gambling apps from the Norwegian version of Apple’s App Store constitute “regulatory overreach” and an unfair restriction of trade.
L&L came under fire in Sweden recently after it was discovered that a shareholder, Tumas Group CEO Yorgen Fenech, had his interests hidden from public view. The shares are held through a company called TL Limited and were obscured by Trustfote trusts, which hold half of the shares in TL Limited for Fenech. Fenech also owns 17 Black, which is described as a source of income for companies located in Panama that are owned by the top aide, Keith Schembri, of that country’s prime minister, as well as Panama’s Tourism Minister, Konrad Mizzi. That investigation is still ongoing.