As a result of increasingly unpopular regulation, foreign operators serving Norway may be looking at advertising restrictions in the current climate.
New Broadcast Restriction
Minister Trine Skei Grande stated that her government is seeking to authorize state media authority Medietilsysnet to “prevent or obstruct access to marketing of gambling” via television channels or broadband providers, with penalties for media companies failing to abide.
Media Feedback Period
In acknowledging the impact this measure could have on Norway's media companies where no licences are being issued, the Ministry has initiated consultations with the media with media feedback submittable until June 17.
The only companies with licenses to conduct gambling within Norway to this point are government are state monopolies Norsk Tipping (sports betting), Rikstoto (race betting) and some lottery operations.
Past Efforts at Restriction
The government has attempted to discourage foreign operators in the past unsuccessfully, even going so far as to target payment processing channels singling out individual operators such as Kindred Group and Betsson AB. However, the operators apparently were able to work around the interventions to continue serving Norwegian customers.
Unlicenced Versus Licenced Preferences
In its annual report for 2018, the Lotteritilsynet gaming regulatory body claimed that only 10% of Norwegian gamblers played online casino games with international sites in 2018, a drop from the 30% range in the years 2014-17. At the same time, only 8% of sports bettors wagered at unauthorized sites in 2018, down from a high of 25% in recent years.
Through all this fluctuation offshore, State monopoly Norsk Tipping's market share has remained stable at 40% of the market’s online gross gaming revenue for years, including 2018.
The fact that players would rather not gamble than play with state authorities indicates that the monopoly system in Norway is not working, and would not ultimately stand to gain further revenues with any heavy-handed government measures that preserve a monopoly, including media advertising restrictions.