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Norway wants to be free of Internet Gambling

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by Rollo, Oct 29, 2007.

    Oct 29, 2007
  1. Rollo

    Rollo Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Beekeeper
    Location:
    Tropic of Cancer
    Norway wants to be free of Internet Gambling

    Norway is leading the Scandinavian countries in the fight to ban internet gambling.

    Minister for Culture and Church Affairs Trond Giske has drafted a law that is very similar to the USAs Prohibition-style Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prevents financial institutions (banks, credit card companies) from making transfers to foreign gaming companies. Giske tried to ban slot machines in 2006. The Norwegian legislators want to bar access to sites as well as blocking financial transactions. The move is in response to public pressure against gambling in the country. If the measures pass into law, they could take effect by Spring 2008.

    Scandinavia has mixed reactions to gambling. Norway is the toughest on Internet gambling. Denmark regards poker as a game of skill, not chance. Sweden rules poker as an illegal activity and has tried to break up online poker games.
     
  2. Oct 29, 2007
  3. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    There's more detail on this in the Casinomeister News reports from Barcelona early October...and the adviser to the Norwegian minister was there taking a strong anti-online gambling position.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2007
  5. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    NORWAY'S UIGEA?

    Legislative amendments could bring payment processors under gambling laws

    It appears from Norwegian media reports on recent legislative activity that Culture and Church minister Trond Griske is pressing ahead with his plans to constrain online gambling in the Scandinavian country by dislocating payment systems to online gambling companies.

    Last month, InfoPowa commented on Griske's reported plans to introduce a Norwegian version of the notorious U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) but the minister has apparently chosen instead to amend existing gambling legislation so that payment processors fall within it.

    Under the guise of a "clarification" the proposal apparently went forward last week and is now open to public comment until mid February. After that it will go before Parliament, bringing it within the enforcement timeframe of the next Northern spring that Griske has in mind (see previous InfoPowa report).

    Online poker in particular is a popular pastime among Scandinavian players, many of whom have shown a world class capability in the game by winning tournaments and large prize purses at events both online and around the world.

    The "justification" for a ban of financial transactions with online gambling companies will undoubtedly be the protection of Norwegian problem gamblers, but there can be little doubt that the state gambling monopoly Norske Tipping is being protected.

    InfoPowa research indicates that up to 71 000 Norwegians - 1.5 percent of the population - have a serious gambling problem and 133 000 are considered to be in the risk zone. The average problem gambler in Norway spends Euro 5 000 a year on gaming.

    According to press archives, in 2006 Griske worked hard to ban all land slot machines except those controlled by the state monopoly. As a result all the slot machines in Norway are now government-run by Norske Tipping, generating (according to our InfoPowa check on the latest half year numbers from July this year) revenues that have grown by 4.6 percent.

    While Norway is not a full member of the European Union, it is part of the EU's market and EFTA, located in the European Economic Area.

    Griske has confirmed that his officials have been monitoring the rise in online gambling among his countrymen.

    Last week's amendment "clarifying" that existing gambling law in Norway applies to payment processing of online gambling transactions would effectively criminalise any Norwegian financial institution that processes such payments. Norwegian law prohibits the marketing, promotion or facilitation of Internet gambling services, and the amendment seeks to extend that activity to include payment processing.
     
  6. Dec 22, 2007
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING MOVE MAY COUNTER NORWEGIAN LEGISLATION

    Responsible gambling code to short-circuit Norway ban?


    Major betting companies Expekt, Ladbrokes, Betsson and Unibet have launched a new Responsible Gambling Code in Norway in a move designed to counter a Norwegian government initiative to ban its citizens from transferring funds to foreign online gaming companies. Under such a ban, Norwegian customers would be stopped from betting on football or cross country skiing through the internet.

    The new code of practice seeks to promote and strongly support responsible gambling in answer to one of the government's justifications for imposing a ban.

    Bent Svele of Unibet said that the issue was about freedom of choice and the decisions by Norwegians to do what they wanted with their money. Svele added that the Norwegian government's claim to be shielding its citizens from problem gambling was in reality a protectionist desire to maintain its state monopoly by preventing foreign operators from accepting funds from Norwegians (see previous InfoPowa reports)

    Speaking for the Swedish listed firm Betsson, Hans Martin Nakkim said banning online gambling financial transactions would have no impact on problem gambling in Norway and would represent a threat to socially responsible gambling rather than being a precondition to it.

    An expert panel set up by the Norwegian Board of Technology earlier this year showed it would be easy to bypass such bans, while criminal gangs could step in to fill the vacuum left and take advantage of operators not being allowed to accept Norwegian bets.

    Nakkim said: We hope through this campaign to direct attention to these consequences and we want to initiate a broad dialogue with regard to what regulations and measures are required and which have potential to work best in practice.
     

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