Gambling in Norway has been heavily regulated and government controlled since it’s re-emergence after the 50’s. They, just like many European countries, have a close relationship with gambling and it’s deeply immersed in their history. Gambling is heavily regulated because the nation has one of the highest counts of problem gambling in the continent. Norway only allows one online gambling site to operate, and it’s a state-run site. The laws and rules have been corrected and changed to account for loopholes many times over the years as an attempt to change statistics with problem gambling among Norwegian citizens. The Norwegian Gaming Board is the regulating body for Norway.
Norway’s rich history offers an insight to the struggles in legalizing and controlling the gambling industry. There are a few specific areas of gambling that Norway’s government pays careful attention to. Each area has its own laws and regulations concerning the operation and use of casinos or other gambling activities. Norway has a state-run gambling industry that offers land casinos, one online gambling website, sports betting outlets and lotteries. They do their best to prevent access to offshore online casinos, and condone the use of the gambling firm Norsk Tipping.
Perhaps the most strictly controlled, the lottery and gaming legislature took time to fully come into effect and work well. There are specific games of chance that are legal, while others are completely illegal. If the lottery or other games of chance are offered by companies that have special licenses, then it is legal. Any operators that aren’t authorized for gaming are severely punished. Three specific acts were offered that provided exceptions in the turn of the 20th century. The 1927 Totalisator Act provided a base for the Nork Riksoto Foundation to offer horseracing bet services. They are supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Act reinforced statewide monopoly on the gambling industry. In 1992, the Gaming Act granted Norsk Tipping AS the sole rights to football betting and the Lotto. The 1995 Lottery Act compiled all the forms of lotteries, giving them a definition and allowing social organizations to run the games. The funds collected were the put into the system to benefit society as a whole.
In the 90’s, slots were considered to fall under Lottery Act. However, there was very little regulation for slots and the market potential was growing fast. Between 2001 and 2004, the gross income from slots was NOK 9 billion and NOK 26 billion. The Lottery Act allowed charity organizations to run slots, however the wording didn’t prevent private businesses from working with the organizations, splitting profits between them. By 2002, the authorities were struggling to amend the act to prevent problem gambling from escalating, and in 2007, they were banned in Norway.
Online gambling is complicated because currently there is only one government sanctioned gambling site permitted to citizens. Norway government is currently working to prevent financial services in authorizing online gambling payments to unauthorized vendors.