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Norwegian Chess Federation rejects Kindred deal

The governance of the Norwegian Chess Federation Congress (NSF) voted on Sunday night (July 7) 132-44 against the commercial partnership deal proposed by Kindred Group.

Last month the two parties had agreed to a five-year partnership worth around NOK10m (€1.03m) each year which would make it the biggest ever sponsorship deal for NSF. However, after announcing the deal, Lottstift, Norway’s national gambling regulator, warned NSF governance to consider the consequences of partnering with an unlicensed gambling firm.

The NSF would also potentially face further pressure from Norway’s Ministry of Culture and broadcaster TV2 (Egmont Group) to reject the deal, with both of them assisting NSF in its attempt to win the rights to host the 2020 Chess World Cup in the city of Stavanger.

Both the NSF and Kindred confirmed that the proposed deal has been cancelled.

”We want to commend the board of the Norwegian Chess Federation for being extremely strong through a demanding exchange of opinions leading up to this Sunday’s Congress. The same leadership have, through the 11-month process leading to the final deal proposal, impressed us through their inquisitive and responsive approach, and clear and challenging dialogue with us as a potential partner. The members of the federation have now made a choice, and that choice deserves respect,” stated Rolf Sims, Public Affairs Manager of Kindred Group.

Kindred subsidiary Trannel International was ordered to cease operations in Norway in April after being found in breach of national igaming regulations by Lottstift. Then, Kindred has launched a lawsuit against the regulator, accusing it of going beyond its remit to prevent the operator from offering online gaming in Norway. This case is due to be heard at the Oslo City Court later this year.

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