Unpopular Decision: Norway Extends Rikstoto’s Horse Betting Monopoly for 10 Years


Lee R. - December 16, 2022
Horse Racing Race

Norway horse racing monopoly Rikstoto’s license has been extended for ten years.

Norway betting monopoly Norsk Rikstoto’s exclusive horse racing license has been extended for ten years. 

The Prevailing Monopoly System

As one of the few greater European jurisdictions employing a state gambling monopoly, Norway solely permits Lottery Norsk Tipping to offer casino iGaming, with Norsk Rikstoto being the sole licensee of online horse betting.

Norway’s Preferred Monopoly

The Norwegian government indicates that the monopoly system has been retained as an effective method of regulation wherein both Tipping and Rikstoto “have high prizes, high turnover or a high risk of creating gambling problems.”

The New Extension

The extension of Rikstoto preserves the monopoly for another ten years through at least the end of 2032.

Norway Embraces System

Norway’s Minister for Culture and Equality Anette Trettebergstuen expressed confidence in Norsk Tipping’s ability to effectively continue to fulfil its role in aligning its goals with the government:

Norsk Rikstoto shows that they take the role of exclusive rights provider seriously, and that is good.

Minister Explains Priorities

Trettebergstuen further clarified that the top priority for the Norwegian government is preventing addiction, with reinvestment in social causes and sports being a second policy goal:

The Norwegian parliament has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of gambling problems and gambling addiction. At the same time, we want to ensure that sports and volunteering can still benefit from the profits from gambling.

Horseracing Profits

Norsk Rikstoto profits are reinvested in the Norwegian horse racing industry.

Monopoly Controversy

Not surprisingly, Norway’s monopoly system has faced opposition from international operators prevented from entering the local market. Controversy has been punctuated by the ongoing dispute between authorities and Unibet operator Kindred who has been fined repeatedly by Norway regulator Lotteritilsynet for appealing to Norway players from the Kindred website.

The Kindred Case

The dispute started in September when Lotteritilsyne was required to make changes to its website to correct Kindred website marketing that Lotteritilsyne found to be appealing too directly to Norwegian players. The fines were at the time avoided when Kindred ostensibly fulfilled requirements resulting in only passively taking on Norwegian players.

Issue Reheats

The controversy re-heated last month in November with new fines imposed on Kindred for targeting Norway residents--fines which Kindred continues to appeal.

Outlook

The extension of the Rikstoto monopoly for ten years in Norway serves as a reminder that despite the policy optics and goals of private operators, every jurisdiction has the authority to choose, protect and preserve the regulation model that is the most appropriate fit for policy priorities, global market dynamics notwithstanding. 


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