Norway is well-known for having some of the most restrictive gambling laws in Europe. Interestingly, the restrictions on the internet gaming industry here are getting even heavier. News is coming out that gambling laws in Norway are about to change once again.
This time, the laws are targeting foreign gaming companies that are operating inside Norway without permission. The government here is actively working to make sure its online gambling monopoly stays in place. What do these new regulations mean for the internet gambling industry here moving forward?
As we already mentioned, Norway has set some very strict regulations on the internet gambling industry. Back in 1992, the state-run Norsk Tipping company was granted monopoly status over all the lottery and sports betting operations in the country. This company continues to be the only legal option to bet online in Norway.
In 2008, the government here made it illegal for Norwegians to play through foreign gambling sites, adding to the already-heavy online gambling restrictions. Despite laws against it, many of the top online gambling sites in Europe operate in this country.
This is exactly what the Norwegian Gaming Authority wants to crack down on. They have announced a fresh new set of online gambling regulations that will make it more difficult for these foreign companies operating in the country illegally.
These regulations are targeting payments to foreign gaming sites. Under the laws, the Norwegian Gaming Authority has the ability to block payments to gambling operators. It should make it extremely difficult for these companies to collect the earnings they make from Norwegian players.
That’s not all. Banks and third-party payment providers will also need to investigate all transactions between foreign gambling websites operating in Norway illegally.
Trine Skei Grande, Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, recently commented on why these changes are coming about:
“The purpose of the changes is to streamline an existing ban on the payment of money games without Norwegian permission,”
She continued by stating,
“The changes will help make it less attractive to play on foreign gaming sites without Norwegian permission. The unregulated players offer games with a higher risk of gambling addiction and are not subject to the same accountability measures as the gaming offer of Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.”
The good thing is that these new regulations won’t impact players. Foreign gaming companies are certainly popular here. The government simply wants to collect taxes on all gambling revenue being earned. Will Norway ever open its doors to these foreign gambling companies?
It’s very likely that Norway will eventually open its doors to offshore gaming websites. For many years, Sweden implemented the same restrictions that Norway does. Sweden opened up its online gaming market earlier this year and is already profiting massively.
For now, Norway is not changing its stance. Lawmakers here are making it clear that foreign companies are not welcome. Only time will tell whether or not gambling laws in Norway will allow for the better regulation of this industry.
A study was carried out last year that concluded Norway should keep its current online gambling laws in place. The government clearly recognizes the difficulty in monitoring foreign gaming sites, yet it isn’t willing to allow these companies to obtain a license to legally operate inside the country.
Do you think gambling laws in Norway should change? Will foreign gambling companies ever be allowed to operate here? Let us know in the comment section below.
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