Lottstift, the Norwegian Gambling Authority, revealed that financial institutions such as banks can play a pivotal role in preventing gambling debt.
Eight Out of Ten Banks Notify Customers If They Use Unlicensed Gambling Operators
The Authority uncovered the results of a new study, which showed that the financial institutions are being proactive and have joined the fight against illegal gambling. The new white paper uncovered a probe by Sentio which found out that 8 out of 10 banks currently have routine procedures to contact their customers whenever a transaction with an illegal gambling operator is flagged. This result marked an improvement, considering that in 2020, only 6 out of 10 banks had such procedures in place.
Additionally, the new study uncovered that 7 out of 10 banks inform customers that using illegal gambling websites can have consequences. Besides allowing people who may be suffering from problem gambling, illegal operators are not obligated by law to adhere to gambling regulations. This puts the customers that use such operators at risk.
Although more banks are becoming involved in the process to protect their customers from illegal gambling, the topic remains uncommon during loan meetings. The new report points out that 2 out of 3 banks acknowledge that “gambling problems are rarely or occasionally a topic in loan meetings with the customer.” On the other hand, 1 in 4 banks displays information about problem gambling on their websites.
Although banks can take further actions, the latest study confirms that a step in the right direction is made. Considering that banks can inform their customers of transactions with illegal operations, this can help protect the well-being of their clients.
Norwegian Banks Help Protect Their Customers
Silje Sægrov Amble, a lawyer for the Norwegian Gambling Authority, acknowledged that problem gambling can have dire financial consequences not only for people suffering from problem gambling but for their families as well. She pointed out that banks in Norway are obliged to stop transfers of funds from and to illegal gambling operators.
“Norwegian banks have a duty to stop money transfers to and from illegal gambling companies, such as Unibet and Betsson. Thus, they must also discover it when money goes to and from the gambling company.“
Silje Sægrov Amble, lawyer for the Norwegian Gambling Authority
According to Amble, this unique position allows banks to be at the forefront of the fight against illegal gambling. She explained that whenever a bank contacts their customer to inform them that they are gambling with an illegal operator, the customer either stops gambling or starts using licensed operators. Finally, Amble said that problem gambling should become a part of the “compulsory training” for banks.