Online gambling operators are now happy with recent restrictions set in Norway and want to see changes to the regulatory regime. Last month, news broke that the government was planning to close a loophole that has existed for many years, stopping unlicensed foreign operators from advertising via TV channels in the country.
Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (NBO) is not surprised by the restriction changes announced but are disappointed as it will affect their businesses. The government has plans to change Norway’s Broadcasting Act and authorized the Media Authority to order local distributors of television as well as internet providers to stop unlicensed operators from advertising.
This would be a huge change as for many years, operators have been able to promote their products with no issue. Discussions about closing the loophole have been ongoing for years and finally seem to be coming to fruition. Right now, the only two operators that would be allowed to advertise would be Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, both of which are state-operated.
Consideration was given by lawmakers to opening the market to international operators, allowing such gaming providers to be licensed. However, the move was not made. The government is solely concerned with protecting vulnerable people from being overexposed to risks associated with gambling and they feel that this can only be done if a monopoly model is utilized.
However, on the opposing side, international operators feel that with more liberal regulations, there would be better consumer protection. By opening up the market, players would then have access to sites legally and they would be presented with tools that could be used to regulate gameplay such as a self-exclusion system.
Members of the NBO pushing for the regulation change include the Gaming Innovation Group, Betsson Group, Come On! of Cherry AB and the Kindred Group.