wealth-masters-international-logoEarlier this year Wealth Masters International went through quite the regulatory smackdown in Norway.

The charge, led by the Gaming Board of Norway, was that Wealth Masters was nothing more than a pyramid scheme. After an internal investigation, the Gaming Board found that

1. Revenues in WMI primarily come from the recruitment of members, not the sale of products.

2. One must give consideration to achieve revenues in the WMI.

3. The cost to be a member of WMI and to purchase WMI’s products are clearly overpriced.

4. WMI has a pyramid-like trading system.

Ultimately, the Gaming Board concluded that WMI was in violation of Norway’s Lottery Act, specifically Section 16;

It is prohibited to establish or participate in pyramid systems, luck chains, chain transactions or similar enterprises where money or other values are ultimately traded among an indeterminate circle of people.

Following this decision, WMI initially came out guns blazing (they of course accused the Gaming Board of collusion and libel) and despite the appeals the Gaming Board upheld their original findings.

Currently Norwegians are waiting on the Gaming Board to make their final announcement on Wealth Masters. Given the track record this is almost certainly going to be an upholding of their previous rulings, that Wealth Masters is just a pyramid scheme.

In the meantime, support for the Gaming Board’s decision popped up in the most unusual of places.

Norway’s Direct Selling Association (DSA), who are ‘a trade association of companies working in direct sales‘, recently put out an article in full support of the Gaming Board’s decision on Wealth Masters.

In their article, Norway’s DSA label Wealth Masters what they call a ‘rogue company‘;

When we warn against certain companies’ business practices, it is because we see that consumers are usually the losing party.

A review tone is, unfortunately, that these companies claim to engage in direct selling, and there is a risk of confusion with our members, all engaged in very serious.

Gaming Authority has now ordered Wealth Masters International to halt sales in Norway, immediately when activity is contrary to the Lottery Act § 16 second paragraph.

Specifically, this means that the Authority considers the WMI as an illegal pyramid-like trading system.

We believe that Wealth Masters International is a typical example (of a rogue company), and now we believe the Authority should continue to look at several other companies.

Using Wealth Masters as an example, the DSA are now pushing for the government to look into other such scams they believe are also nothing more than pyramid schemes.

Note that WMI weren’t using a different compensation plan or business model in Norway, it’s exactly the same as the ones they use worldwide when conducting their business.

To date however, after a formal investigation into the company, Norway I believe are the first and only company to officially declare the company to be a pyramid scheme.

In my own Wealth Masters review, I concluded that

Purely from an MLM standpoint and ignoring any third party offers (I believe MLM companies should be inclusive for wealth generation), essentially you’re left with training materials and tools that will over time provide you the necessary training to run and manage your finances, but fail to provide you a ‘in-house’ vehicle to channel this knowledge into.

WMI allegedly gives you all the know how, but the buck stops there and you then have to rely on third parties to generate any long term sustainable income.

As far as the company itself goes, all you’re doing is selling conference tickets to members under the misguided premise that it is WMI itself that give them their lifestyle, rather than the third-party income opportunities they are involved in.

Thus, as far as Wealth Masters itself goes, there isn’t any retail sales of anything – as concluded by the Gaming Board.

For now Wealth Masters has all but abandoned their Norwegian interests, including all Norwegian former members. Interestingly enough, Wealth Masters aren’t a member of the American DSA…

…I wonder why.

You can read the Norwegian DSA press release in full here (English translation).