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New laws close advertising loopholes for online casinos in Norway

New laws close advertising loopholes for online casinos in Norway

by Kally in Industry | 26 May 2020

The online gambling industry has grown and expanded, reaching new regions across the globes.

Norway is one of the few countries that has a monopoly over the gambling industry within its borders.

For years there have been many loopholes in their laws allowing foreign operators to gain access to local residents.

The Norwegian Government recently added new restrictions to protect their nations gambling monopoly from offshore operators.

No more loopholes

The Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget, approved legislative amendments preventing offshore gambling operators from advertising their services to consumers within the country.

With the new amendment in place, the Norwegian Media Authority, Medietilsynet, will have the power to keep all service providers and media companies from accessing illegal marketing.

As it stands, Norsk Tipping holds the gambling monopoly in Norway and as such is the only operator legally permitted to offer online gambling.

According to the Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Q Raja, the new gambling advertisement amendment will reduce the scope of gambling advertising which in turn could reduce the number of problem gamblers.

Raja said they did not have the necessary tools to enforce the advertising ban on foreign operators in the past. The new provision empowers the Media Authority to impose a duty on internet owners and distributors to prevent any access to illegal gambling advertising.

The announcement came shortly after Stortinget approved a separate provision related to Norway's Broadcasting Act. The latter allows Medietilsynet to order domestic broadcasters to stop any broadcasts from offshore operators.

The countries regulations already prohibited the advertising of games and platforms not licensed within its borders. However, these amendments had a loophole allowing them to advertise via satellite channels that broadcast into Norway from foreign locations. Efforts to close this have been under discussion for years and finally came to a close with new amendments.

An effort to curb problem gambling

Problem gambling is one of the biggest issues worldwide and government officials across the globe are dedicating time and energy to incorporate the necessary tools and provisions to promote responsible gambling.

Raja is confident that the new amendments will help address the issue of problem gambling in Norway. A new research study done by the University of Bergen suggested that there has been an increase in problem gamblers within the country.

According to the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gambling, Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill/NBO, more restrictions won't help but could lead to more gambling problems. The NBO represented offshore operators in the country and urged that a more liberal regulator model should be adopted.

According to the NBO, it would be more beneficial to remove the gaming monopoly in the country as it could be the most effective method to lower the risk for players to develop a gambling problem.

The Government is confident that the new advertising amendments will promote responsible gambling and give them back control over the gambling monopoly.

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