Norway’s Gambling Regulator Withdraws 211 Charity Gambling Licenses

Norway’s Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) gambling regulator has withdrawn 211 organisations from its operator registry licensed to run lottery and bingo games for charitable purposes after failing to meet a deadline for disclosing their accounts.

Of those who’s permissions were revoked, 51 kept lottery and bingo operating licenses in Norway for charitable purposes.

Aid organisations, charities, sports teams, voluntary agencies and special interest groups are the entities authorised to give lottery and bingo for charitable purposes. Those excluded from the registry will now serve a’ quarantine’ duration of six months, after which they will not be able to reapply for licenses.

Lottstift notes that the company must have an annual turnover of less than NKr700,000 (£ 62,356/€69,919/$76,690) in order to obtain a license to operate charitable bingo in Norway. Lotteries do not require a license for those with turnover of less than NKr200,000-although they must send annual reports to Lottstift-while those with turnover above that amount must be licensed by the regulator.

The suspension that came into effect for all 211 organisations from October 1st also means that those affected will not be able to offer bingo in 2020 at all. The regulator acknowledged that this could represent a significant income loss for some charitable organisations.

Before the deletion of the 211 businesses that failed to submit their documents, a total of 5,400 entities were on the Lottery Register list.

The Lottstift ruling comes after a move by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in August to make charitable lottery and bingo tournament organisers excluded from new anti-money laundering rules by Lotteritilsynet, the national lottery authority.

The bill, which underwent a consultation period until October 1, would eliminate regulatory burdens on approximately 350 groups, associations and organisations that do not rely on third-party contractors to exclude themselves from the new money laundering laws of the country for their bingo or lottery offerings.