Kindred refuses to back down in Norway and vows to appeal latest court ruling
Yesterday (21 June), the court confirmed the 2019 decision of the Norwegian Gambling Authority (NGA) to ban Kindred operating subsidiary Trannel International from offering its services to Norwegian consumers. Kindred now has one month to appeal the decision.
A Kindred spokesperson told iGamingNEXT: “We take note that the Oslo Town Court has not accepted our arguments that there is a lack of legal basis for the NGA’s cease and desist order. We continue to dispute and will appeal as we seek to deliver a free, open, competitive and safe gambling environment in Norway. ”
Norwegian Gambling Authority director Alte Hamar: “We now expect Trannel (Kindred Group) to withdraw from the Norwegian market.”
The dispute started three years ago when the NGA first ordered Trannel to stop offering services in the country as it does not hold a Norwegian permit.
Malta-licensed Kindred, however, argued that Norwegian customers have the right to access its various websites, including Unibet, MariaCasino, Storspiller and Bingo under EEA-law.
Trannel previously appealed the regulator’s decision to the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and the Lottery Board, although both appeals were denied.
Kindred Group spokesperson: “We continue to dispute and will appeal as we seek to deliver a free, open, competitive and safe gambling environment in Norway.”
Trannel also asked the Oslo District Court to determine if the NGA’s decision was valid. In its judgement, the District Court upheld the previous decisions and described them as a necessary consequence of Norway’s exclusive rights model.
NGA director Alte Hamar commented: “We now expect Trannel to withdraw from the Norwegian market.”
Norway is one of the few countries left in Europe to operate via a state-owned monopoly model under the terms of the Norwegian Gambling Act, through Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.
Kindred has long opposed the Norwegian monopoly on gambling.
The Kindred spokesperson told iGaming NEXT: “We continue to believe that a transparent and objective licensing regime is the only way to obtain a well-functioning gambling market that balances consumer entertainment and consumer protection. We will continue to work towards this goal.”
Earlier this year, Kindred pledged to fight for an international licensing system in Norway and announced it will not prevent Norwegian players from accessing its sites.
The gaming authority previously warned Trannel that it would be sanctioned with a coercive fine of NOK 1.2 million (€120,000) per day if it does not cease its so-called unlicensed activities. Kindred has also been ordered to pay the costs of the latest appeal.