Norway ramps up efforts to stop unlicensed operator activity 

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Nine Norwegian banks will be put under surveillance by the Norwegian Lottery Authority (Lotteritilsynet) in connection with a state-wide ban on processing funds from unlicensed operators. 

As per Section 5 of the Norway Gambling Act, any bank operating in the country is forbidden from processing deposits and withdrawals from gambling operators if they do not own a licence from the government. The state law further gives Lotteritilsynet additional powers to block any transactions made to and from individuals and companies if it deems it necessary. 

The lottery watchdog is yet to communicate if any of the banks have been found to have breached the ban.The only thing confirmed by Lotteritilsynet is that all nine financial institutions will have to undergo “supervision of compliance”. 

As part of this process, the banks have been given three weeks to inform Lotteritilsynet about their current actions to comply with the ban by presenting information on all measures they’ve implemented against processing transactions from unlicensed operators.

Lotteritilsynet lawyer Rannveig Gram Skår commented: “We know that the payment intermediary ban is an important tool to protect the Norwegian sole proprietorship model. The purpose of the model is to prevent gambling problems and other negative consequences of gambling.

“For a long time, we’ve focused on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions. For the first time, we have chosen to open a more thorough inspection of compliance.

“We largely expect to see that the banks have effectively complied with our decisions.”