The European Gaming and Betting Association has urged Norwegian lawmakers to move away from the current monopoly model and adopt a licensing system for online gambling.
Norway is one of the few European countries that still has a gambling monopoly. Norsk Rikstoto is responsible for horse racing, while Lottery Norsk Tipping controls online casino games and sports betting.
EGBA, however, says that Norway should take the lead from other European markets like the neighbouring Sweden or Finland in moving to a licensing-based system. Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary-General, said that this would help to combat problems such as gambling by consumers on unlicensed websites.
Haijer stated that the belief that a gambling monopoly is necessary for safer gambling doesn’t align with current European trends. “Nearly all other European countries have implemented licensing systems, prioritizing player safety in a regulatory framework which provides clear rules to companies.
In Norway, players are actively seeking out international websites that offer a greater selection. It is important that the government recognises and responds to this demand.
Haijer stated that a licensing system could address the need for alternative gambling options. Haijer said that this would boost tax revenues and improve gambling safety by regulating more operators in the country.
Haijer stated that Norway is the only country on mainland Europe to have a gambling monopoly. Haijer said that it was important for authorities to assess whether the current approach is still relevant in a digital age, and compared to other European countries’ practices.
We urge the Norwegian authorities strongly to consider the benefits of a licensing system. This model can meet the changing needs of players and promote a comprehensive approach to gambling regulations that prioritizes player safety.
Kindred leaves Norway
Norway has a gambling monopoly. However, there are still some operators and sites active in the country.
Kindred is one business that no longer operates in Norway. Last week, Lotteritilsynet, Norway’s gambling regulator, announced that Kindred would withdraw. This marks the end of an years-long struggle.
Lotteritilsynet didn’t name Kindred by name, but instead called it “the company that is behind Unibet”. Lotteritilsynet also said that Betsson ComeOn, and Bet365 were in the process to withdraw.
Lotteritilsynet, in its list of companies leaving the market, also includes Mariacasino Storspiller, and Bingo. These are also operated by Kindred subsidiary Trannel in the country, along with Unibet.
Companies that refuse to withdraw their sites may be blocked by 2024.