Norway to ban all foreign Gambling-related ads on TV
Norway has had an odd approach to gambling for a while.
As informed by Casino på nett EU, inside the country only two casino operators have the monopoly over the entire industry and despite many attempts from the European Union to get Norway to change its regulations, the country seems determined to keep the existing laws in place and not allow other casinos to function from the inside of the country.
But now Norway is taking it even further and is planning to bank all offshore operators from advertising their websites on Norwegian tv channels.
Changes in the gambling scene
The gambling industry has been facing radical changes in its tv advertising department with many countries limiting the ads that focus on gambling-related topics, either completely banning them or limiting the air time. The Norwegian government has proposed to make legislative changes that would bank overseas operators from getting any air time in the country.
Up until now, the gambling operators that were stationed offshore but were still offering their services to the Norwegians were able to use the loophole in the Norwegian legislation and have been promoting their services for years.
This could all be coming to an end as Norway’s proposal could give more power to the Norwegian Media Authority, preventing offshore gambling companies from getting their ads on the Norwegian TV.
The talks about this topic aren’t anything new. Norway has been trying to limit the amount of air-time for the foreign gambling companies for years now with the first discussions over preventing these advertisements dating back to 2017. Even the country’s gambling regulator, Lottstift launched a broad consultation on this topic back in April of 2018 with no tangible results up until now.
Eradicating the loopholes
The country has been growing increasingly concerned over the effects of these advertisements on children and how it shapes the view of the gambling industry, and with the overall negative effects that gambling can have on the society. They have been working to limit exposure to the industry and to keep the air time dedicated to gambling to a minimum. This was largely impossible since the loophole in the Norwegian legislation was still there. But now that the legislation might be changing the foreign companies might have a tougher time advertising their services in Norway. This new approach has touched mediums like video games, TV stations, radio programs, and computer games. It looks like Norway is determined to limit gambling advertisements, but at this point, it seems like the country is only targeting offshore casinos.
As mentioned above, Norway has somewhat of a monopoly in the country. With the only two operators allowed to offer these services are state-owned and can legally advertise their products. It’s not surprising that these two casinos, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are more than willing to back up this proposal since it would make their competition even weaker. Both of these casinos can currently advertise their products, mostly draw-based and traditional casino games, along with totalisator games.
The reason why the government is so determined to keep their current system up and running is that both of the state-owned casinos allocate a big chunk of their revenue to support different social causes, humanitarian work, healthcare and much more. It is almost impossible to infiltrate the Norwegian gambling market and even if you do, you will have to follow a list of extremely strict rules and give around 30% of your profits to social causes as another 30% goes to the two licensed casinos.
Norway shutting out the offshore casinos
The offshore gambling advertisements have been getting less frequent anyway. Lottstift reported that the advertisement coming from the offshore gaming operators fell by 19% this year but Norway wants far more radical results which is why the talks of completely banning these ads are underway. Norway wants to eliminate all possible risks tied with the offshore gambling companies and wants to deliver more protection to their vulnerable groups. Currently, the country has implemented amendments to the ban on payments to offshore casinos since these companies used to use intermediaries to get the payments before. Some transactions will now be banned based on the company names and account numbers, hoping to prevent any payments from going to these offshore casinos.
These moves might seem a bit over the top but Norway has been wanting to make these changes for a while now and has continued to work towards eliminating as much competition for their two-state-owned casinos as possible. Now it seems like the country is taking it a step further and making sure that there are no loopholes for the foreign companies to use in order to get into the Norwegian market. This is a big change for the country and for the entire gambling community that used to rely on offshore websites for more diversity.