Norway—The Norwegian government is planning to streamline the country’s gambling laws and at the same time send a message that the future of the two state-run gambling monopolies is not up for discussion.
On June 28, Norway’s Ministry of Culture submitted a proposal to unify the country’s existing gambling laws (Gambling Act, Totalizator Act and the Lottery Act) under a single legislative banner. The government has started a consultation on the proposal that will go on until September 29.
Abid Raja, Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, explained that the goal was to “secure responsible gaming and to prevent gambling problems and other negative consequences.” A “more comprehensive perspective” on the gambling policy will have Raja’s Ministry take responsibility for regulation and eliminate input from the Lottery Committee and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
The new proposed guidelines aim to ensure that gambling marketing is not “too extensive” or targeted towards minors or individuals at risk of gambling addiction. Raja also calls for a more “efficient operation from the Norsk Tipping (betting) and Norsk Rikstoto (racing) monopolies by having the government appoint their senior executives and board members.
Ensuring a clear playing field for the monopolies will naturally bring things into focus. The Lotteritilsynet regulatory agency will be able to get more tools to keep internationally licensed online gambling operators from advertising to Norwegian punters. In addition, they will also be able to strong-arm local internet service providers to keep local punters from accessing international illegal sites.