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The Norwegian Gambling Authority (NGA) is monitoring nine banks in the country to ensure they comply with a ban on processing transactions for unlicensed gambling operators. 

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This move is part of a broader effort to uphold the regulations outlined in section 5 of the Norwegian Gambling Act, which strictly prohibits mediating deposits and withdrawals for unregulated gambling operators.

To ensure strict compliance with these regulations, the NGA has the power to issue directives to banks, instructing them to reject transactions involving specific account numbers and companies that violate these regulations. 

Legal expert and NGA senior adviser Rannveig Gram Skår (pictured) said: “For a long time, we have focused on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions.

“For the first time, we have now chosen to conduct a more comprehensive inspection of compliance.”

The primary goal of this supervisory action is to gather information that will support the effective enforcement of the ban on payment intermediaries. 

In communications addressed to the banks, the NGA has requested detailed information about the measures taken to prevent transactions to and from identified companies and account numbers. 

Additionally, banks are expected to provide details about their internal procedures aimed at ensuring compliance with the ban on payment intermediaries.

Three weeks to reply

Banks have been allotted a three-week timeframe to provide the requested documentation and information.

Initially, this scrutiny focuses on specific aspects of the regulations; however, additional inspections are planned, which may shed light on other aspects of the regulations.

The NGA said that the payment intermediary ban is an important tool to protect the Norwegian monopoly model, which has the purpose to prevent gambling-related harms.

The authority has not disclosed whether the banks have violated the payment intermediary ban.

Norway is unique in mainland Europe as it maintains a monopoly on the gambling sector through state-owned operators, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. 

Earlier this month, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) called on Norway to introduce a licensing system to align its gambling sector with those of its European counterparts.

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