The executive of pan-national industry trade body – the ‘European Gaming & Betting Association – EGBA’, has accused Norway’s gambling authority Lotteritilsynet of regulatory over-reach for demanding that national banks block payments deemed to correspond with online gambling transactions.
EGBA governance reacts to weekend news reports that Lotteritilsynet is actively targeting the restriction of payments of six Malta MGA licensed operators – Betsson, Kindred Group, L&L Entertainment, Gaming Innovation Group, Dino Gaming and Co-Gaming Ltd.
Issuing a public statement, the EGBA details that Lotteritilsynet punitive actions which ‘block-off a Norwegian corner of the internet’ as proof that Norway’s gambling regulatory framework is no longer fit for purpose.
Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), said: “Instead of using payment blocking to try to prevent its adult citizens from making informed and free choices, we urge the Norwegian authorities to develop an online gambling regulation which is fit for the realities of the borderless, digital age.”
The EGBA has previously called out Lotteritilsynet’s authoritative measures, stating in 2018 that Norway’s data authority move to overturn the regulator’s monitoring of banking transactions, was a significant breach on Norwegian consumer privacy.
As an industry trade body and policy stakeholder, the EGBA underlines that development of regulated market frameworks as the only working measure to ensure consumer safety and all-around safer gambling standards.
“EGBA supports a well-regulated and controlled environment for online gambling which keeps players safe – and the best way to do this is by developing a regulated market, based on multi-licensing, which applies a high level of consumer protection set by the Norwegian authorities,” Haijer explained.
“We have seen this happen recently in Sweden, where the country is now moving towards a licensing system for online gambling. It is what the overwhelming majority of European countries have been doing in the face of economic and social reality – and it is inevitable that Norway will have to confront the same choice.”