Norway’s Regulator to Fine Affiliate Over Promotion of Illegal Gambling
The Norwegian gambling regulator Lotteritilsynet will be handing a fine out to an affiliate site owner SEO-Butler for the promotion of illegal gambling websites. This comes following repeated warnings being handed out to the affiliate.
It was in December of 2020 that Lotteritilsynet first warned SEO-Butler over its promotion of the websites. A second warning was handed out on March 22 of this year, stating that if it did not stop with such promoting activity, then it would receive a fine. This time, SEO-Butler responded to the regulator, stating that the sites it was promoting were actually blocked for users based in Norway.
Yet, reviews taking place between April 19 and May 3 displayed information that while many of the sites were blocked, four of them were not. In fact, those four had domains of .no and were readily accessible to Norwegians within the country’s borders. This did not stop SEO-Butler from promoting them, though.
The sites that have been pointed out as the ones that were promoted by SEO-Butler are Tjenpengeronline.no, Fotballreisetips.no, Finnstilling.no and Startsidendin.no. And due to the reluctance of the affiliate to stop promoting the platforms, Lotteritilsynet chose to issue a fine, as forewarned.
SEO-Butler has on a number of occasions been made aware of breaches of the marketing and dissemination ban. Lotteritilsynet takes a serious view of repeated breaches of the regulations, especially after the actor is made aware of which specific cases are considered to be breaches of the rules.
The regulator referred to the Norwegian Lotteries Act in order to determine the size of the fine that it would hand out to SEO-Butler. According to this, a fine of this nature should be “so large that it eliminates the benefits the offender may have by continuing the illegal activity”, although at the same time it should not be something “unreasonably high”. Therefore, Lotteritilsynet opted for a fine of NOK2,000 per day, starting from May 25, up to a maximum amount of NOK200,000.