Norwegian Regulator Orders Marketer To Stop Targeting Norway

February 14, 2024
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The Norwegian Gambling Authority has ordered a Cyprus-based marketing firm that it says uses Norwegian social media influencers to stop marketing gambling in Norway.
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The Norwegian Gambling Authority has ordered a Cyprus-based marketing firm that it says uses Norwegian social media influencers to stop marketing gambling in Norway.

The authority said Tiergarten Marketing’s schpell.com website and its social media channels market illegal gambling in Norway, with influencers appearing on channels such as Twitch, Kick and YouTube.

“These are players who have great power to influence, and they are helping to normalize gambling,” the authority said.

“The influencers stream and share videos of themselves playing money games, which are not allowed to be offered in Norway, while young people watch and may be encouraged to play themselves.”

The order was also aimed at Norwegian companies, Baris Entertainment AS and Viken Underholdning, which the regulator says are also used by Schpell.

The authority has aggressively defended the country’s gambling monopolies, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, with orders against operators including Kindred Group and Betsson.

Tiergarten’s response was that Schpell is an international brand that does not target Norway, and that all its communications are in English, the authority recounted.

The regulator noted that use of Norwegian language and currency on the Schpell.com website stopped after it contacted Tiergarten.

But, the authority said, “it is not decisive for our assessment that the Norwegian language and currency are no longer used in Schpell's channels. As long as the marketing takes place in Norway or must be considered to be aimed at the Norwegian market, the activity will be covered by the Gambling Act.”

“This will be the case if the company uses Norwegian companies and persons who attract a Norwegian audience in the marketing,” the regulator wrote.

If they do not comply, the companies may face fines and fees, the authority said.

In January 2023, the authority gained new powers to order companies to stop what it calls illegal marketing of gambling, and it subsequently reported that many influencers stopped advertising gambling.

But today, “there are some who are teetering on the edge of breaking the law”, said authority advisor Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes.  “We will monitor and evaluate more inspections.”

An influencer named by the authority in its order, Sebastian Brevik, “strongly rejects the Norwegian Gaming Authority's claim that he has violated the law related to the marketing of gambling”, according to his press spokesman.

“He also does not acknowledge that the Gaming Authority's decision applies to him or is valid for his company,” the spokesman said.

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