Norwegian DNS Blocking Proposal Advances (Update)

But specific legislation still must be passed

Norway‘s opposition coalition of political parties has managed to make good on its pledge last month to pressure government to impose DNS blocking of foreign unlicensed competition to the state owned gambling monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto (see previous InfoPowa reports).

This week the coalition pushed its proposal, which includes provisions to prosecute marketers of unlicensed online gambling services, through parliament despite government opposition. Whilst the vote went in their favour, it is not final, and tasks government with presenting legislative changes that accommodate the opposition’s restrictive and commercially protectionist proposals.

Local newspaper reports sounded out the reaction of several major foreign online gambling groups in which the consensus appeared to be that whilst the measures may prove more restrictive, they do not criminalise punters for using foreign sites, and are unlikely to halt international business competition in Norway.

A more important threat to international competitors is likely posed by government proposals to tighten restrictions on advertising, and an initiative by the Norwegian Gaming Authority to impose tighter controls on Norway’s financial institutions regarding online gambling transactions.