Kindred accused of violating Lithuanian gambling laws
The Gaming Control Authority (GCA) of Lithuania has accused Kindred Group of “openly and blatantly” violating the country’s gambling laws.
The GCA has accused Kindred of “malicious behaviour” by illegally offering gaming services in the country and has blocked its Unibet and Trannel brands.
The regulator issued a statement via the media and accused Kindred of operating without a relevant local licence via the two brands. Together with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, the GCA voted to ban foreign operators from operating in the country in 2016.
There are currently seven regulators licensed to operate in Lithuania. These are TOPsport, Olympic Casino Group Baltija, Tete-A-Tete Casino, Balticbet, Bese Casino, Unigames, and the Gambling Strategy Group.
A statement from the regulator read:
The mentioned companies change internet domain name systematically and continue to offer their services to Lithuanian customers, openly and blatantly violating the law. Such behaviour from the one of the largest online gambling operators in Europe, intentionally infringing national law and offering illegal online gaming services, is treated as deliberate infringement of legal requirements and an absence of social responsibility.– Statement, Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority
The Gaming Control Authority stated it had sent 45 court orders to Kindred Group demanding that they withdraw their services from Lithuania, but the operator had not complied. Players were also warned that they were operating illegally if they used foreign operators.
Kindred also in hot water in Norway
Kindred was also ordered to stop operating in Norway by the Norwegian Gambling Authority (NGA) at the start of this month. The NGA ruled that games featured on a number of Kindred owned domains were specifically targeting Norwegian players, since they had prizes and deposits in Norwegian currency, as well as Norwegian language chat support. It is illegal for foreign operators to target Norwegian players.
The NGA gave Kindred’s Trannel brand three weeks to comply with the ruling. However, Kindred said they will contest the decision on the basis that it is not compatible with EEA law. An appeal has been filed with the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Lottery.