New Norway Regulations say no to illegal ads and gambling loopholes
March 6, 2020
Much of the European Union shows progressive steps towards online gambling, as they recognise the economy booster it is for the region. Norway is one of the Scandinavian countries that has held out against the EU and resisted inclusion into the Union. As such, they have had the freedom to govern their country based on their convictions and have maintained a rather strict view on gambling in the land.
Gambling in Norway
Gambling is seen as a mighty source of funds for humanitarian aid in Norway. The country has not banned online gambling altogether but has rather restricted the operation thereof to two state-run organisations, namely Norsk Rikstoto (Totaliser games) and Norsk Tipping (draw based and casino games). These organisations take their revenues and plough multiple millions of NOK into healthcare, sports, and other cultural initiatives.
Illegal remote gambling casinos from outside the country have had an impact on the gambling economy, illegally luring players to outside casinos instead. Most Europe-based online casinos will gladly accept Norwegian players and even focus exclusive bonuses for players in NOK to entice them.
Remote gambling companies have been exploiting a loophole in the Norwegian gambling legislation to advertise their gambling services to Norwegian citizens, despite the fact that gambling at these casinos is outlawed.
Much of television broadcasting is done from outside of the country, where Norway has had no legislative controls. The casinos and sportsbooks have been placing ads on these stations, which automatically feeds through to the television sets of millions of Norwegian homes.
Stamp it Out!
Norway is in full swing to blocking out all remote gambling initiatives and shows no signs of becoming as progressive as the EU in this regard.
In January of 2020, laws were passed preventing Norwegians from transferring funds to unlicensed remote gambling houses. This is to be followed by the possibility of amendments to the broadcasting act in the country.
The government has already tabled its proposal for the changes. While there has already been a notable decline in advertising from casinos abroad, due to the hard stance taken by the Norwegian authorities against illegal gambling, the broadcast ban could further slash advertising revenues by an estimated NOK500.
Abid Q Raja, the Minister of Culture and Gender Equality has unequivocally stated:
“For the government, this is a value choice where the interests of people with gambling problems and their relatives must take precedence over financial considerations.”
It remains to be seen whether the efforts of the Norwegian government will win out in the end. Players will always find ways to play games outside the country if the entertainment is better.
A key that may need to be considered to preserve the safe state-regulated gambling environment, would be to offer a larger variety of legal gambling options under the current regulators. This may prevent the turning of Norwegian heads towards operators outside the country.