Taking things to court is usually the last step in trying to prove you are right. However, sometimes the court doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. This is exactly what happened to Kindred Group’s Norwegian subsidiary. It accused the Norwegian regulator, Lotteritilsynet, of acting against the Constitution by imposing several unlawful restrictions. Yet, Norwegian’s High Court didn’t want to hear any of it and rejected the case. Yikes!
There are two major parties in this case. One is Trannel International, a subsidiary of Kindred Group. Kindred is currently one of the biggest online gaming companies in Europe. The other side is Lotteritilsynet, a government body operating under the Ministry of Culture in Norway. Trannel International launched the case back in December 2018.
Kindred claims the regulator is not allowed to prevent offshore companies from operating. The initial case insisted all imposed restrictions, such as blocked payments between customers and the operator, are not only unfair but also unlawful. Furthermore, Lotteritilsynet banned all Kindred apps from the Apple App Store.
The Municipal City Court and the Court of Appeal both ruled in favor of the regulator. The Kindred Group didn’t want to come to peace with that verdict and decided to take things further - to the High Court. The company claimed Lotteritilsynet breached the very first article of the Constitution.
This particular article is as follows: “The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable realm. Its form of government is a limited and hereditary monarchy.” Kindred argued Norwegian authorities are acting beyond the borders of the country.
The Supreme Court Appeals Committee had a completely different opinion. All its members decided there is no reason for the hearing. It seems Kindred will never get the satisfaction of completing this lawsuit as planned.
In 2020, Lotterinemnda (Norwegian Lottery Board) supported the Trannel International ban from Norway. It also rejected its appeal against the decision made by Lotteritilsynet in 2019. The ban was a result of Kindred Group brands, such as Unibet, offering gaming to Norwegians.
Before the ban, brands experienced blocked payments. Also, Kindred is not the only one fighting strict regulatory rules in Norway. Another brand was denied hearing earlier this month.
Kindred is, unsurprisingly, not happy with this decision. A spokesperson said the Court's behavior raises many concerns. They also mentioned that Norwegians still want to play with offshore brands. In their opinion, gamers want to have the same level of service and entertainment as their peers in the EU.
Norway is one of the countries with the strictest gambling laws. The entire industry is under the state's monopoly. Regardless of that, it is important to note that more and more countries ban brands without local licenses.
Operating since 1997, Kindred is one of the biggest gaming companies in Europe and the US. It runs popular brands like 32Red, Maria Casino, and Unibet. Its gross winnings revenue for 2019 was €907.6 million. The company is also known for safe gambling strategies and tools.