BUSINESS

Norway banks to step up online gambling payment blocking

TAGs: Norsk Tipping, Norway, Scientific Games

norway-online-gambling-payment-blockingNorway’s gambling regulator has confirmed plans to further restrict financial transactions with unauthorized online gambling operators.

Last week, Norway’s Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet regulatory body confirmed the January 1, 2020 implementation of new restrictions on local financial institutions processing payments to and from internationally licensed online gambling operators.

Norway has been attempting to cut off this cash flow since 2010 in an effort to shore up the state-owned gambling monopolies Norsk Tipping (betting) and Norsk Rikstoto (racing). The government approved a significant beefing up of these powers last year and these plans were upheld by local courts in August.

In a letter sent to local financial institutions on December 10, the gambling regulator says they must not process any transactions with any company the regulator has designated as an online rogue. Banks must act swiftly to halt payments for any companies added to this naughty list, in addition to the old system of blocking payments to specific account numbers.

Banks and processors must investigate all transactions involving such firms and report their findings to the gambling regulator so that it can determine how large a fine to impose. “A few selected banks” will also be required to submit “detailed information” on their role in acting as a conduit (wittingly or unwittingly) for unauthorized gambling sites or payment processors that work with these rogues.

The regulator intends to conduct a survey throughout 2020 to determine how banks are handling their new responsibilities.

Norway’s gambling authority has previously claimed that it is winning the war with its unauthorized online interlopers but the regulator stated last week that around 250k Norwegian punters still spend around NOK6b (US$666m) per year with international sites.

Meanwhile, Norsk Tipping just announced a new land-based video lottery terminal (VLT) deal with US gambling technology giant Scientific Games, which already supplies Norsk Tipping with lottery and iGaming technology. The deal will see Sci-Games supply between 3,000-4,500 VLTs across 1,000 or so venues, including convenience stores, bingo halls and sports arenas.

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