The Norwegian legislation does not legalize gambling in Norway, and the country has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws throughout Europe. There are only two legal companies in Norway, namely Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, that operate freely in the country. The nation has imposed a strict ban on gambling to prevent ‘problem gambling’ in the nation.
However, in Norway, the online gambling industry is growing rapidly and has started to take over the land and mortar casinos in Norway. It has evolved more during the COVID pandemic, with the players seeking ways to enjoy gambling over the internet. The Norwegian Ministry of Culture has also recently announced to launch a consolidated law combining all the individual gambling laws while maintaining the state-owned monopolies of Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto in the gambling market.
The overview of Gambling in Norway
According to sections 298 and 299 of the Norwegian Penal Code of 1902, only special license holders were allowed to offer gambling sports that, too, only “games of chance.” Also, such permission could only be granted by a legal statute, not obliging, which may impose strict punishments on gaming operators. The Gaming Authority of Norway can also urge administrative sanctions for violating the legal acts, including administrative orders, to pay coercive fines.
In the late 20th century, the Norwegian legislation brought forward some exceptions to the gaming laws and made them much lenient. Three gaming acts were brought forward: the 1927 Totalisator Act, the Gaming Act of 1992, and the Lottery Act of 1995 Lottery. With these 3 Acts coming into operation, the state monopoly in the gambling industry was established. The 1927 Totalisator Act granted Norsk Rikstoto the right to start horse-race betting services.
The 1992 Gaming Act granted Norsk Tipping exclusive rights to operate the Number Game, Lotto game, and football betting, and the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs was given the responsibility to supervise these games.
The Lottery Act of 1995 was considered more comprehensive and patriotic as the revenues earned from lottery games were to be used for the welfare of the Norwegian society.
Land-Based Casinos in Norway
Gambling in Norway is regulated at the national level, which prohibits any kind of promotion or distribution of any kind of gambling sports other than those authorized by the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority. Authorizations are granted only on humanitarian or social grounds where the proceeds from the gambling sports are allocated for the welfare of the Norwegian people. As far as land casinos are concerned, the Norwegian legislation prohibits land-based casinos, but licensed bingo halls are allowed to operate only if certain basic conditions are met.
Online Gambling Industry in Norway
As land-based casinos are prohibited in Norway, the Norwegian gamblers are more inclined towards online casinos. The two government gambling companies, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, also provide Multix gaming terminal games and horse-racing games, respectively. Both these companies offer progressive jackpots and several casino games to attract more players. Get more info on why online casinos are thriving in Norway:
Major Betting Sites in Norway
There are only 2 Norwegian betting sites in Norway, namely Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, but people still go to “offshore” gambling sites in Norway. Thus, the gambling business is flourishing as in the EU countries. For example, in Finland, the gambling industry is flourishing exponentially, and the gambling acts ban the entries of foreign gambling sites to enter the Finnish market.
Norsk Tipping is a state-owned betting company under Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs jurisdiction. It offers gambling options like Keno, lottery games, sports betting, etc. to Norwegian residents. There are specific rules to gamble with Norsk Tipping. Like the minimum age limit should be 18 years, players are allowed to gamble only at the prescribed time. Also, there is a maximum limit beyond which a player cannot spend money over gambling. Norsk Rikstoto is a state-owned company, too, but it offers horserace betting services.
Gambling regulations in Norway
The Norwegian gambling legislation supports a state monopoly that grants exclusive rights to betting to both the national level betting sites, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Private operators are eligible to apply for gambling licenses to provide gambling activities under the 1995 Lottery Act. Still, commercial operators cannot apply for a full gaming license from the Norwegian Gaming Authority.
Contrary to the gambling enthusiasm of the Norwegian people, there are strict regulations in Norway regarding gambling and other betting sports. Considering these bans and restrictions, it is no wonder why land casinos do not exist in Norway.