Lotteritilsynet to Conduct Supervision of Payment Transactions in Norwegian Banks
Lotteritilsynet, the Norwegian Gaming Authority, has recently informed nine banks that it will be conducting supervision of compliance with the payment intermediary prohibition.
According to § 5 of the Gambling Act, it is prohibited to facilitate payment transactions for deposits and withdrawals from gambling activities that do not have the necessary permits. Lotteritilsynet has the authority to make decisions and impose requirements on banks to reject transactions to and from specific account numbers and entities.
Rannveig Gram Skår, a legal expert and senior advisor at Lotteritilsynet, highlighted that the authority has been engaged in ongoing dialogues with Norwegian banks and financial institutions. However, for the first time, they have chosen to initiate more comprehensive supervision of compliance.
Skår stated, “We have been focusing on dialogue with Norwegian banks and financial institutions for a long time. For the first time, we have now decided to open more in-depth supervision of compliance.”
Prohibition Aids in Reducing Gambling Problems
Specifically, Lotteritilsynet’s decisions made in 2023 include requirements to reject gambling transaction processing that will be subject to scrutiny. The purpose is to gather information to ensure the effective enforcement of the prohibition.
Skår explained, “We know that the payment intermediary prohibition is an important tool for protecting the Norwegian monopoly model. The model aims to prevent gambling problems and other negative consequences of gambling.”
In a recent population survey, stricter enforcement of the payment intermediary prohibition was identified as one of the reasons for the decline in gambling problems. The prohibition makes it more challenging to participate in gambling activities with foreign operators.
Future Supervision Initiatives
In the notification sent to banks, they are asked to provide details of the measures they have taken to block transactions to/from identified entities and account numbers. Banks are also expected to present any internal procedures for compliance with the prohibition.
Skår stated, “Banks have three weeks to submit the documentation and information we have requested. We largely expect to see that the banks have effectively complied with our decisions.”
The initial supervision covers nine banks and focuses on aspects of the regulations that banks should be familiar with. Over time, additional supervisions may be conducted, addressing other parts of the regulatory framework as needed.