Norway sanctions ‘toughest agenda’ on blocking gambling transactions

Continuing its ‘toughest stance’ against unlicensed remote gambling operators, the Norwegian government has extended the powers of Lottstift – Norway’s Gambling Authority.

The Norwegian government is set to implement its toughest ever regime monitoring payment transactions, between Norwegian financial institutions and foreign gambling operators.

Norwegian news reports detail that Lottstift will be granted the right to monitor and block payment transactions made by Norwegian banks and third-party payment intermediaries.

Moving forward, all Norwegian banks and payment services providers will be forced to submit transactional reports to Lottstift, detailing engagements with remote gambling operators.

Furthermore, the Norwegian government has reformed its financial code, enforcing that financial institutions ‘verify source of funds’ – making sure that no transaction can be processed with a foreign gambling operator.

Confirming the new procedures, Trine Skei Grande, Minister of Culture stated that the changes had been made to make ‘foreign gaming sites, less attractive to Norwegian consumers’.

The Norwegian government maintains that only state-owned Norsk Tipping (lottery/betting) and Norsk Rikstoto (racing) organisations can engage national consumers with gambling services.

Since April 2018, the Norwegian government has actively pursued a tougher stance on restricting foreign remote gambling operators, deemed to be undermining Norsk Tipping’s charitable contributions.

Issuing a Q1 2019 update, Gunn Merete Paulsen, Director General of Lottstift outlined that, the regulator would continue its stricter mandate against online gambling enterprises.

To date, tougher measures on payment transactions have seen Lottstift report that wagering on unregulated online casinos by national consumers has declined to 10% from 30% recorded from 2014-17.