The decision marks the latest twist in Kindred’s years-long dispute with Norway’s authorities concerning the status of its grey market operations.
The court supported the state on all points and rejected Kindred’s appeal. The business – which operated in the country via its Trannel subsidiary – must also pay the ministry of culture and equality’s legal costs for the case.
Kindred cannot offer gaming in Norway
Director of Norwegian gaming regulator the Lotteries and Foundations Authority, Alte Hamar, said the organisation was “very satisfied” with the judgment from the court of appeal.
Hamar said that it showed that large international gaming businesses must adhere to Norwegian law and stop broadcasting unlicensed gambling services to consumers.
“The fact that Trannel is not supported on a single point shows that the work we do to get illegal companies out of the Norwegian market is solid and well-established,” said the director.
“The verdict confirms that the Lotteries and Foundations Authority’s decision to stop the illegal gambling offer was correct. Now we expect the company to withdraw completely from the Norwegian market.”
Culture and equality minister, Anette Trettebergstuen, added: “The court of appeal has confirmed that the Norwegian exclusive rights model is in accordance with EEA law.
“The result is not exactly surprising as this lawsuit joins the series of several other lawsuits in the gambling field where the state has been fully supported each time.”
The case dates back to the gambling regulator’s April 2019 order to Kindred to stop offering online gambling to Norwegian consumers. The Swedish business is active in the country through its Unibet, Mariacasino, Storspiller and Bingo portals.
Following the decision, the regulator mandated Kindred to pay a daily NOK1.2m (£88,000/$110,000/€100,000) fine until the operator ceased its activities in Norway.