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Kindred will not leave Norway

Kindred has reacted to the Norwegian Gambling Authority's decision to cease supplying services in Norway, claiming that the operator of Unibet is not breaching Norwegian legislation and so will not alter its behavior.

The injunction is directed at Kindred subsidiary Trannel, which manages Kindred-owned operators in a variety of nations, including Norway's Unibet.

The Authority warned Kindred earlier this week with a daily punishment of NOK1.2m (£99,447/€118,649) if it continued to operate in Norway.

Kindred responded by publishing an interview on its website with Rolf Sims, the company's public affairs manager for Norway.

Sims said in it that Norway's Gaming Act allows for only two operators to offer gambling services: state-owned Norsk Tipping and private trust Norsk Rikstoto.

Due to the fact that the operators of Trannel are accessible to Norwegians, the Authority determined that it is functioning unlawfully.

Sims claims, however, that Norwegians are not prohibited from playing via Kindred's operators, "in the same way that it is not illegal for Norwegians to shop with eBay or Amazon"

He also mentioned the “flagrant incompatibility” between Norwegian law and European Economic Area (EEA) law.

“In failing to organise a transparent licensing regime and conducting a truly consistent gambling policy, we feel that the fundamental freedoms within EEA law are systematically being violated by Norway, to the Norwegian Government’s advantage” said Sims.

The Authority issued the order for the first time in 2019. The Ministry of Culture and the Lottery Authority Board both appealed, but were unsuccessful.

The Authority noted that Kindred's website offered Norwegian money and customer assistance. Kindred's adverts were also broadcast in Norway.

Trannel requested that the Oslo District Court evaluate the validity of the decision to ban Unibet during the appeal. This case is scheduled to be tried in May 2022 at the Oslo District Court.

“Ensuring compliance with national and international laws contributes to a sustainable society,” said Sims. “This also extends to Norway.”

“A comprehensive judicial review of the legality of the order issued in 2019 and the gambling monopoly is for the benefit of Norwegian society, consumers and vulnerable players.”


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