Norway Introduces New Law Placing Tighter Restrictions on International Gambling Companies

by Thomas Nielsen - Monday, June 21st, 2021 2:42

Norway’s government has introduced a new gambling law that will place tighter restrictions on international betting and gambling operators that offer unlicensed services in Norway.

The new law was proposed by the Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality with Minister Abid Raja stating that the new bill will merge the country’s outdated and fractured gambling regulatory framework. According to Minister Raja the new legislation aims to replace Norway’s three existing laws and and regulate all gambling activity within the country.

Currently, the Norwegian betting industry is regulated according to three laws — the 1995 Lottery Act, the 1992 Gambling Act, and the 1927 Totalisator Act. The new legislation will combine the most relevant sections of each act into one regulatory framework.

Minister Raja had first proposed a complete overhaul of Norway’s gambling legislation in June 2020. At the time he had spoken of the need to establish a singular framework that would oversee the industry and help limit the number of unlicensed operators who target Norwegian customers.

Speaking of the new legislation, Raja said:

“I am pleased to finally be able to present the new gambling law, which is a milestone in the government’s work to prevent gambling problems and ensure responsible gambling.

We are tired of foreign gambling companies that do not respect Norwegian law, and that do not operate with proper accountability measures. Therefore, the new law provides the Norwegian Lotteries Authority with new tools for detecting, reacting to and sanctioning violations of the law. This includes, among other things, authority to impose infringement fines.”

He went on to add:

“Things are happening in the gambling field in Norway. The government has worked consciously for many years with gambling policy and this is yielding results.

Foreign gambling companies and their payment intermediaries are withdrawing from the Norwegian market, their turnover is declining and advertising is no longer as easy to reach. This is a direct result of a targeted and successful policy in the area.”

Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary General, has previously spoken of the need for gambling reform in Norway stating that up to 66% of the country’s online gambling activity takes place on international unlicensed websites, costing the country around NOK 2B each year.

The new laws will allow the government to protect the state-owned monopolies of Norsk Riksoto and Norsk Tipping who run the country’s gambling industry.


Image credit: gcardinal / CC By 2.0

Thomas Nielsen

Thomas is an iGaming veteran with a background in poker and marketing.