Lotteritilsynet, the gambling regulator of Norway, is to fine the SEO service provider SEOButler NOK2000 (€198) per day for promoting illegal gambling websites.
The regulator has previously issued warnings to SEOButler. It first ordered the company to cease promoting unlicensed gambling websites on its platforms in December.
It followed that in March with a warning that it would issue a fine if SEOButler didn’t cease to market the sites.
SEOButler responded by claiming that access to its sites was blocked for Norwegian IP addresses, but in a review carried out last month, the Norwegian regulator found that four sites had dot.no domains and were available to users in the country.
While many SEOButler sites were indeed blocked to Norwegian users, Lotteritilsynet found that Tjenpengeronline.no, Fotballreisetips.no, Finnstilling.no and Startsidendin.no were operational and promoting unlicensed gaming.
Lotteritilsynet said: “SEOButler has on a number of occasions been made aware of breaches of the marketing and dissemination ban.
“Lotteritilsynet takes a serious view of repeated breaches of the regulations, especially after the actor is made aware of which specific cases are considered to be breaches of the rules.
“Furthermore, SEOButler has in several cases given the impression that it has complied with the orders to stop its illegal business.”
It will fine the company to the tune of NOK2000 (€198) per day as of May 25, up to a maximum of NOK200,000 (€19,800).
The Norwegian Lotteries Act 1998-99 states that a fine should be large enough “that it eliminates the benefits the offender may have by continuing the illegal activity” but “should not be unreasonably high”.