Norwegian Politicians Move In to Further Restrict Online Gambling in the Country

Published April 25, 2018 by Ivan P

Norwegian Politicians Move In to Further Restrict Online Gambling in the Country

The mandate by the coalition of Norwegian political parties asks the Parliament to enact much harsher restrictions aimed against foreign gambling operators.

Although online gambling with unlicensed foreign operators has been illegal in Norway since 2010, a large number of online casinos still caters to Norwegian players. This situation stands to change quite radically if the latest mandate proposed by a coalition of political parties is passed by the country's Parliament.

Strengthening the Grip

Right now, Norwegian financial institutions are not allowed to process transactions from and to foreign gambling operators and it is pretty much the extent of the ban on online gambling in the country. With this new proposal, however, the grip would significantly strengthen, widening the scope and effect of restrictions.

The mandate secured by several parties, such as Christian Peoples and Norway's Labour party, proposes the ban on IP addresses of foreign operators, advertising restrictions for media owners who promote these unlicensed operators, and furthering the powers of Lotteri og Stiftelsestilsynet, the country's regulatory body, to include monitoring of banking transactions and issuing fines for those found in violation of the new regulation.

Protecting the Monopoly

State-owned Norsk Tipping is the only licensed gambling operator in Norway and the country doesn't have a process in place to allow for other operators to apply for gaming licenses. These new laws would, thus, effectively strengthen the state's monopoly on gambling.

According to the mandate, these new provisions are aimed to help Norsk Tipping, which gives a part of its income to charitable causes, and also help problem gamblers who aren't in control of their addictive behavior.

The coalition has urged the Parliament to make its decision by May 7, 2018, so if their proposal is accepted, Norwegian players could find themselves cut off from all foreign operators in a very near future. At the same time, the mandate will completely block the efforts of Venstre party, which proposed the idea of developing a licensing scheme for gambling operators wanting to offer their services in the country.

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