Norway Report Recommends Strengthening Regulations

Government-funded commission suggests multi-pronged approach to keep foreign operators out while re-energising the market

A Norwegian Ministry of Culture-commissioned report on the technological developments in the gaming market found as many as 42 percent of a survey sample of Norwegians believed that utilising the services of foreign gaming operators was permissible, while another 20 percent were unsure.

The commission tasked with presenting the report said the legal gaming market in Norway is being significantly challenged by competition from foreign betting companies on the internet with around one tenth of gross gaming revenues in the Norwegian market channeled through these unlicensed operators.

Foreign operators are reportedly responsible for as much as 90 percent of Norwegian television advertising in terms of games of chance despite not being authorised to offer their services in the market.

Based on its findings, the commission recommendations include:

– A further study be carried out to determine whether the Gaming Act, the Lotteries Act and the Totalisa­tor Act should be merged into one act.

– A further study conducted on the impact and potential regulation of social network games of chance.

– The formation of an interdisciplinary group comprising representatives of the Gaming Authority, the Consumer Ombuds­man, the Norwegian Media Authority and representatives from research, the industry and the technology field which would monitor the development of social network games and virtual/digital currency.

– Advertising restrictions in line with Norway's gaming policy.

– ­Information drive educating Norwegian gamblers on which operators are legal.

– Closer cooperation with the banking industry, where the Norwegian Gaming Authority would be empowered to request Bank reports on transactions with individual betting companies and payment service providers.

That the Gaming Authority be empowered to order banks to reject those transactions.

– The formation of a complaints board for gaming.

– That lawful Norwegian gaming companies be permitted to offer existing games of chance across digital channels in order to secure the basis for their existence in the market.

– Norwegian bingo operators be given an opportunity to develop and offer more attractive bingo games within a more flexible framework.

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