Expect More Advertising Restrictions From Norway In 2018

Minister for culture warns on plans to ban gambling adverts from abroad

The Norwegian government’s fierce defence of its national online gambling industry appears about to ramp up even further next year.

In addition to the recent directives compelling banks to disrupt transactions with certain international payment processing companies (see earlier InfoPowa reports) there are now plans to shut down television adverts from overseas and particularly EU member states transmitted via satellite.

The loopholes that have been exploited in this sector to circumvent Norwegian marketing bans will be closed, according to culture minister Linda Hofstad Helleland.

The minister revealed this week that work is already well advanced on legislation designed to close the gaps in Norwegian law that have facilitated this type of advertising, and that there are plans to introduce new legislation to parliament early in 2018.

She said that the issue has already been discussed with European Union officials, clearing the way for the new laws.

Pernille Huseby, the acting secretary general for the Norwegian Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs (ACTIS) said that international gambling operators run an average 62 commercials an hour via Norwegian-language television channels which are based in other European countries.

About US$103.5 million was spent on advertising by international gambling operators, according to the Norwegian Media Authority, between July 2016 and the same month this year – a 17 percent y-o-y rise over. By comparison, local gambling enterprises’ adspend was just US$21.2 million.