Norway’s Gambling Regulator Looking For Holisitic Control

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Lotteritilsynet, Norway’s gambling regulator, has reaffirmed its conviction that a more holistic control of the Norwegian gambling industry would be encouraged by plans for a new popular gambling law.

In response to the Ministry of Culture’s consultation on the gambling industry’s regulatory reform, Lotteritilsynet reported that a reform is required that ‘will ensure responsible gambling.’

Abid Raja, Norway’s Minister of Culture, initiated a consultation earlier this year to review the convergence into a single legislative structure of the country’s Lottery Act, Gaming Act and Totalisator Act, whose proposed amendments were sent to the European Commission ( EC) last month.

The regulator was particularly optimistic in issuing its response that ‘the bill clarifies the main aim of the legislation is to avoid gambling issues and other adverse gambling consequences.’

The regulator proposed that there should be new provisions to ensure that all forms of gambling are only available to players who have an account with a licenced operator in order for player expectations to be increased.

The statement added: “Norwegian regulation will be strengthened through new instruments that will provide better control of the gambling market and ensure a more responsible gambling offer in Norway.”

It clarified that a full view of each user’s gambling operation would allow them to do so if state-owned operators such as Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are required to maintain high standards of player safety.

To do this, a clause should be included that would preclude direct competition in the law for state-owned operators. Lotteritilsynet clarified that this was a required step because, in particular, Norsk Tipping provided a number of online casino games linked to “problematic gambling behaviour.”

“These games were only considered safe to offer to players because of the strict player protection controls offered by Norsk Tipping, and direct competition could put players at risk,” the regulator continued. As a result, it suggested that the new act explicitly stated that Norsk Tipping was the sole operator permitted to offer these games, which ‘require special public controls.’