by Cody on August 28, 2018

Ins and outs of Norwegian gambling regulations

Norwegian gambling regulationsMuch like in the rest of Europe, Norway has chosen a strict approach when it comes to regulating gambling activities, reports Mark Hughes from the Norwegian resource Nevertheless, unlike its neighboring countries which are slowly beginning to open up their markets to private gambling providers, Norway is unwavering in its decision to keep these activities confined to the government-owned companies. Currently, Norsk Tipping has the monopoly over most gambling activities in the country. There is also another state-owned company, Norsk Rikstoto, which is solely responsible for arranging horse race betting.

Norsk Tipping, is fully owned by the Norwegian state and provides games like lotteries, Keno, sports betting, instant games and others. There is an age limitation on these games. One must be 18 or older to participate in these activities. The only thing the age limit does not apply to are the scratch-off tickets. Interestingly, the company is administered by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and all the proceeds from its operations are channeled back to the sport and cultural sector. This business model is not an exception for European countries as in most countries the profits generated by the state-owned gambling monopolies are diverted back to culture and education.

All other forms of gambling, including online gambling that is not provided by Norsk Tipping, are illegal in Norway. Nevertheless, the country has seen its fair share of internationally licensed online gambling providers that often attract customers away from the state-owned monopolies. Consequently, the government has taken several measures to stop these companies from offering their services to the population of Norway. In 2010, a law was passed that prohibited national banks from servicing such companies.

Ways gambling might occur in Norway without the involvement of Norsk Tipping

People who want to enjoy gambling outside of the services offered by Norsk Tipping may arrange gambling parties at home as long as they do not operate as a business. Nevertheless, there are some intricacies that need to be considered in this case as well. Before 2015, it was illegal to play Poker. Now, people can host poker games at home but only if these games satisfy certain criteria. For example, everyone at the game has to be from the same area and no more than 10 people can play. There are limitations on the size of the bets as well.

Another way gambling activities might occur in Norway without the involvement of the state-owned monopolies is through non-profit organizations. These organizations are allowed to host bingo games as long as the proceeds are donated to a cause. Even for such events, there is a process of obtaining permits and getting approved by the Lottery Committee. There are two types of bingo games – entrepreneur bingo and business bingo. The former is when teams or organizations apply for a license to host a bingo game. This usually happens in October. In this case, a professional prosecutor has to be involved in arranging the game, which is not true for the business bingo.


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