Casino News Daily
European Online Gambling Operators Demand Investigation of Norway’s Payment Blocking System

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) today announced that it has urged the Norwegian Data Protection Authority to investigate a long-standing online payment blocking scheme that, according to the gambling association, has been breaching the privacy of Norwegian citizens.

EGBA is a Brussels-based organization that represents online gaming and betting operators that are based and licensed within the European Union.

In a statement from earlier today, EGBA has confirmed that it has reached out to Norway’s Data Protection Authority, asking the latter to address what the gaming and betting association considers a serious breach into the privacy of residents of the Scandinavian country and violation of national data protection laws.

Generally speaking, EGBA is contesting the Norwegian Payment Blocking Regulation, which was introduced back in 2010 by the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (NGFA), Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet. Under that regulation, payment service providers are prohibited from carrying out transactions to and from online gambling operators that do not hold a license from Norway’s gambling regulator.

Last March, the regulatory body ordered local banks to block the flow of money to seven account numbers over illegal gambling activity suspicions. The seven accounts were registered with five international payment service providers, including Worldpay and Entercash, and with two local payment firms.

EGBA’s Concerns

EGBA explained in today’s statement that Norway’s gambling regulator has obtained information about the seven accounts in a manner that violated privacy protection regulations. According to the online gambling association, the only way the NGFA could have got hold of information of this nature has been through a database containing sensitive data about Norway’s citizens. However, under Norwegian data protection laws, the gambling regulator does not have right to access said database.

EGBA also pointed out that the NGFA accessing information about Norwegian residents was also a violation of privacy rights set by the European Convention of Human Rights.

Under Norway’s current gambling regulations, the state-run operators Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto are the only ones authorized to provide gambling services in the country, including gaming and betting activities conducted on the Internet. The country’s regulatory framework does not feature a system for licensing international operators, hence NGFA’s regulations against transactions carried out between Norwegians and internationally licensed gambling companies.

Despite calls from international gambling organizations and operators over the years, Norwegian politicians announced in late 2016 that they would keep the monopoly system as one that best ensures that players are effectively protected from falling victims of gambling-related issues and predatory gaming and betting companies.

In EGBA’s statement from earlier today, the association’s Secretary General Maarten Haijer commented that Norway’s online gambling regulations do no match the contemporary digital reality, and that lawmakers should design laws and rules that focus on the “actual needs of Norwegian consumers”, while ensuring that gambling services are provided in a safe and effectively regulated environment.

The post European Online Gambling Operators Demand Investigation of Norway’s Payment Blocking System appeared first on Casino News Daily.