Kindred Group to Continue Norway Operations despite Fines

Despite the threat of heavy fines against its Trannel International subsidiary company, Kindred Group is refusing to stop operating in Norway.

Norway’s gambling regulator, Lottstift, has warned Trannel that it will be fined NOK 1.2m (€120,000) per day if it did not immediately stop operations in the country. It said that it would be taking the toughest approach with Trannel due to repeat offenses, and as such, it will impose a “coercive fine” based upon an estimation of Trannel’s annual earnings of €43 million.

Kindred has already made a number of legal appeals in Norway and insists that it is not violating any laws and will not withdraw. An interview on Kindred’s website with Rolf Sims, the group’s public affairs manager for Norway, claims that it is not illegal for Norwegians to use Kindred’s operators.

In the interview, Sims also said that there is a “flagrant incompatibility” between Norwegian law and the laws of the European Economic Area (EEA). The Norwegian government has a monopoly on gambling through the state-owned Norsk Tipping and the private trust racing betting operator Norsk Rikstoto. According to Norway’s Gambling Act, they are the only two operators allowed in the country.

As such, Sims said that without a licensing regime and consistent gambling policy, Norway is violating the “fundamental freedoms within EEA law” to its own advantage.

Rolf Sims Kindred Public Affairs Manager for Norway

Ensuring compliance with national and international laws contributes to a sustainable society. 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.

Rolf SimsKindred Public Affairs Manager for Norway

Lottstift has pointed out that the Kindred website accepts Norwegian Krone, provides customer support in Norwegian, and that the company advertises in Norway. It has already taken several measures against the company, such as IP and payment blocks and removing the apps from the Apple App Store. In May, the Oslo District Court will rule on whether the blocking decision is valid.