National laws state banks in Norway cannot allow deposits into and withdrawals from sites without a licence. This is in accordance with Section 5 of the Norway Gambling Act.
Lotteritilsynet did not say whether the banks in question breached this ban, nor did it reveal their identities. However, the regulator did confirm it will put in place “supervision of compliance” for each of the nine banks.
The regulatory body has the power to order banks to block transactions to and from specific accounts and companies.
In the briefing sent to each bank, Lotteritilsynet has requested information on the measures in place to stop transactions with unlicensed sites. The banks must also present any internal processes for compliance with the ban.
“For a long time, we’ve focused on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions,” Lotteritilsynet lawyer Rannveig Gram Skår said. “For the first time, we have chosen to open a more thorough inspection of compliance.
“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.”
The banks have three weeks to respond to the initial requests from Lotteritilsynet.
“We largely expect to see that the banks have effectively complied with our decisions,” Gram Skår said.
EGBA calls to end Norway online monopoly
Norway remains one of the last European countries with a state gambling monopoly. Lottery Norsk Tipping has the rights to online casino gaming and sports betting, while Norsk Rikstoto covers horse racing.
As such, online gambling options are limited. However, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) last week urged Norway to switch to a licensing model.
EGBA says Norway should follow the example of other European markets such as neighbouring Sweden and Finland and make the move to a licensing system. EGBA secretary-general Maarten Haijer said this would help combat issues such as consumers gambling with unlicensed sites.