NORWAY THUMBS ITS NOSE AT EUROPEAN UNION PRINCIPLES
26 February 2010
UIGEA-style ban on non-monopoly Internet
gambling transactions is now law
In a move that will inevitably be seen as disregarding
EU principles on the free passage of goods and services,
the Norwegian government has passed an UIGEA-style law
banning the processing of online gambling transactions
with ‘unauthorised’ sites – i.e. non-state monopoly
enterprises in the Nordic country.
Norway is not
a member state of the European Union (EU), but is, in
effect, required to adopt most legislation created by
the EU, due to its participation in the European
Economic Area (EEA) as a member of the European Free
Trade Association (EFTA).
has chosen to opt into many of the Union's programmes,
bodies and initiatives.
The restrictions are
enshrined in the Payment Act, which this week was given
royal assent after being approved by legislators,
officially making it the law of the land.
Operators without a Norwegian gambling licence – in
other words those not part of the state monopoly Norske
Spil – will be impacted by the law, which makes
processors accessories in unlawful gambling if they
process transactions with ‘unauthorised’ sites.
In a quirk of coincidence, the law comes into force on
the same date as the U>S> equivalent the UIGEA
regulations, which were postponed to June 1st 2010 late
Pontus Lindwall the chief executive of
the Swedish Betsson group which operates extensively in
Scandinavia, recently downplayed the Norwegian threat to
the industry (see previous InfoPowa reports), opining
that gamblers would find alternative routes for deposits