Kindred Group has suffered yet another setback in its long-standing war of words with the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) after the appeal committee of the Norwegian Supreme Court refused to hear its legal objections.
In assessing the case, the judges said that the Supreme Court did not have "sufficient grounds" to hold a full hearing on the dispute, which would have reviewed previous decisions in the case by the Oslo Court of Appeal and earlier by the Oslo City Court.
The Committee referred to the foresight of the Norwegian Dispute Law, which states that an appeal can only be filed in cases "the significance of which is beyond the scope of the present case", or if it is important for other reasons determined by the Supreme Court.
Committee officials also review the original complaint, the grounds for appeal, including consideration of what errors may have been made in the initial application of Norwegian law, and the factual basis of the decision.
Kindred's dispute with NGA began in April 2019 when its subsidiary Trannel was ordered to exclude the market from the Norwegian market.
The NGA said the games offered at Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and Bingo.com were targeted at Norwegian players, offering deposits and prizes in Norwegian currency, as well as customer support in Norwegian.
The Norwegian regulator said that after the assessment, it is "obvious" that the websites of Unibet, Maria Casino, Storspiller and Bingo.com are "clearly aimed at the Norwegian market" and therefore violate Norwegian law.
Disputing this ruling, Kindred Group stated that its right to offer gambling in Norway is guaranteed by EEA law and that the NGA cannot prohibit it due to being licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.
This appeal was later rejected by the lottery authority (Lotterinemnda), which handles complaints and operates under the Norwegian Ministry of Culture in March 2020.
Subsequent appeals to the Oslo City Court and then a third appeal to the Oslo Court of Appeal were dismissed in March 2021 when Kindred took the case through the Norwegian legal chain to the Supreme Court, leading to this latest ruling.
However, the Kindred criticized the committee's decision to block the case, suggesting that the NGA's stated goal of preventing Norwegian players from accessing their sites was not working.
Speaking about the ruling, Rolf Sims, PR manager for Kindred Group in Norway, said: “We are disappointed that the Supreme Court decided not to hear Trannel's appeal in this case as it raises many fundamental questions regarding the Norwegian Gambling Authority's oversight outside country. Norwegian territory.
“However, we would like to emphasize that, despite the efforts of the authorities, we have not noticed a change in the desire of Norwegian players to seek entertainment by playing online outside of Norway, but within the EU, in order to access more diverse gaming offers and better odds”, Added sims.