The Norwegian Lotteries Authority has warned Kindred Plc subsidiary Trannel International that it will be sanctioned with a ‘coercive fine’ of NOK 1.2 million (€120,000) per day if it does not cease its unlicensed activities immediately.
A statement issued by Lottstift – Norway’s gambling regulator – has confirmed that Norwegian authorities will take the toughest disciplinary approach against repeat offender Trannel.
The significant size of the daily fine is attributed to the Norwegian regulator’s estimated yearly earnings of NOK 437 million (€43m) that Trannel is reported to have generated from its unlicensed activities.
“When a gambling company that operates illegally in Norway can earn NOK 437 million on its illegal activity within a year, we owe it to the Norwegian people to do what we can to stop the illegal activity,” read a statement by Atle Hamar, General Director of The Norwegian Lotteries Foundation.
Trannel and Lottstift have clashed over several years, during which Kindred’s subsidiary has claimed that its services have been unfairly targeted by Norway’s regulator, imposing Scandinavian-wide IP blocks and payment obstructions beyond its regulatory remit.
In 2019 Trannel issued a lawsuit against Lottstift, in which it claimed that its business – licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) – had been infringed upon by unfair regulatory practices.
Lottstift and the Norwegian Lotteries Authority have responded that Trannel must cease all remote gambling activities as a result of all its appeals and deferred delegations being rejected by national courts.
“On 5 April 2019, the Norwegian Lotteries Authority made a decision against Trannel with an order to stop and offer gambling in Norway without a Norwegian permit,” Lottstift’s statement read.
“The company appealed a decision to the Ministry of Culture and the Lottery Board but was not upheld by any of the appeal bodies. The deadline for complying with the decision expired on 12 March 2020, when the appeal case was decided.”
Trannel is reported to have asked the Oslo District Court to assess the validity of the decision made against its business in a court hearing scheduled to take place in May.
While Trannel awaits further judgment, Lottstift has demanded that the operator explain how it will cease operations – a command that remains to be addressed.
“We take it seriously that the illegal gambling offer has not yet ended,” Hamer added. “Therefore, the Norwegian Lotteries Authority warns that we will now make a decision on a coercive fine, if Trannel does not stop offering illegal gambling in Norway.
“Six out of 10 Norwegians do not know that gaming sites such as Unibet, Maria casino, High Roller and Bingo.com offer their games illegally in Norway. We want to protect those who have problems with gambling and now hope Trannel chooses to comply with the law.”
The board of Kindred has yet to respond to Norwegian developments.