EGBA opposed Norway's attempts to block online payments from gambling operators

6 July 2018

The European Association of Gaming and Betting (EGBA) has filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government's ban on blocking the payments of unauthorized operators of online gambling.

According to media reports, EGBA filed a lawsuit in the Oslo District Court, challenging the government's ban from 2017 to process payments by banks of international gambling sites. According to the members of the organization, the ban violates the rules of the European Union on the free circulation of goods and services between EU countries.

According to Maarten Heyer, director of the EGBA statutory acts department, the ban on the processing of such payments on the territory of the country violates the legislation of the EU and Norway. On the official EGBA channel on Twitter, Heier called on Norwegian lawmakers to "develop a modern policy for the online gaming industry that will protect consumers and reflect the reality of the digital world."

He said that licensing international operators in Norway would not only increase the amount of tax deductions to the government treasury, but also allow him to monitor gambling behavior and take action against players with gambling problem.

According to Heyer, the plan for blocking payments will eventually fail because of the "boundless possibilities of the Internet" and Norwegian consumers will suffer from it much more, than international operators.

According to Kari Henriksen, a member of the Labor Party Committee of Culture under the government, the EGBA lawsuit demonstrates that gambling operators are under the threat of new restrictions, including the blocking of international domains (DNS) and advertising. She stressed that the actions of EGBA indicate the interest of international operators in the Norwegian market, which, in her opinion, "desperately hamper government regulation."

As a result of tough measures on the part of the Norwegian government, the two largest payment processing services - Worldpay and Earthport - left the local market.

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