Online Gambling Trade Body Lays Complaint Regarding Norway’s Payment Blocking

Privacy violations claimed

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has asked the Norwegian Data Protection Inspectorate (DPI) to investigate a Norwegian payment blocking scheme for privacy breaches.

EGBA claims that the implementation by the Norwegian Gaming Authority of payment blocking violates the privacy rights of Norwegian citizens when conducting online payments.

The scheme established by the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) is in contravention of Norwegian Data Protection laws and the European Convention on Human Rights according to the EGBA

The Norwegian Payment Blocking Regulation was introduced in 2010 and prohibits businesses from carrying out payments of bets and prizes in online gambling services which do not have a licence in Norway.

Despite the regulator’s own analysis which determined the payment blocking regulation to be ineffective, in March last year the Authority issued orders on Norwegian banks to block transactions to 7 specific and identified account numbers.

According to EGBA, the manner in which the Norwegian regulator obtained those account numbers information breaches the privacy protection rules of Norwegian citizens, including citizens that do not have any financial relation with online gambling service providers.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, comments: “Online data protection and the right to privacy are a major concern to all Norwegian and European citizens and rightly so. As more and more of our information goes online, we must be able to trust that our online data is protected.

“The data protection rules for online gambling companies are very stringent, and these companies are rightly expected and forced to comply with those rules – but the law requires the same from public authorities like the NGA. In this case we believe the NGA has made a clear breach of data protection rules which the Norwegian DPI should investigate and take appropriate action if necessary.”