For some time now, Norway has been known for its strong protectionist stance when it comes to online gambling. The country has always been wary of foreign gambling operators advertising their products within its boundaries, and the local market is always put first. Entities operating out of the Scandinavian country are not allowed to advertise to media houses located inside it. However, operators have found a way of circumventing this barrier, and are known to spend lots of money playing to the attention of Norwegian residents by means of satellite TV stations located outside Norway but transmitting into the country in the Norwegian language.
This is about to get harder
Linda Hofstad Helleland, Norway’s minister for culture, recently announced that the government is planning to make it even harder for European Union based online gambling operators to access the local marketplace. The government sees this kind of access as a real threat to the local economy, especially in view of the fact that foreign operators spent $103.5 million in the year ending mid-2017, a 17% incremental from the previous year. These casinos spent most of this money on TV ads, where they promise to incentivize their customers by offering them free spins provided to start the player off as soon as they register.
Ms. Helleland has indicated that the government will be engaging legislature in the country to come up with laws that make it impossible for foreign casino operators to exploit any loopholes. She also indicated that she has actually been in contact with EU member states regarding the issue and that they are on board with the moves Norway wants to make going forward.
Pernille Huseby, a top official for the Norwegian anti-addiction organization ACTIS, says that foreign operators are trying to reach Norwegian gamers an average of 62 times an hour via commercials.
Protecting the cash cows
Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are the two gambling monopolies in Norway. In the period that foreign gaming operators spent $103.5 million, the duo did just a fifth of that figure. This makes the government wary and desperate to protect the two, as they are some of the biggest
sources of revenue in the country. There is fear that this kind of access could lead to a mass influx of Norwegians into the foreign market, which would place their gaming earnings beyond the reach of local taxing jurisdictions.