Spillavhengighet Norge, the problem gambling association of Norway, has announced that it will review the current monopoly system of Norway in response to competition structures.
The decision follows the end of the annual ‘Gaming Addiction Conference’ in Spillavhengighet, in which participants unanimously voted to form a working group evaluating various business models.
To date, operating under a monopoly system, Norwegian gambling has been serviced solely by state-owned companies Norsk Tipping (betting / lotteries / gaming) and Rikstoto (racing).
However, remote gambling operators have questioned the monopoly system, claiming that the online marketplace of Norway can be accessed because it does not have different online gaming rules under its ‘1995 Lottery Act’ legislation.
Legislative grey areas have created much tension between foreign operators and Lottstift gambling regulator, which seeks to impose a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on remote actors that threaten the monopoly rights of Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto.
Senior advisor Magnus Pedersen, confirming the planned study by Spillavhengighet, noted that members had opted to review a ‘Norwegian gambling polarisation debate.’
Pedersen, in support of Spillavhengighet initiatives, said stakeholders could not afford a ‘black and white debate’ on market mechanisms, as Spillavhengighet has a responsibility to protect vulnerable consumers.
In addition, Pedersen and Spillavhengighet emphasised that Norwegian circumstances had changed following the 2019 re-regulation of Sweden’s online gaming industry, dramatically shifting conditions in the market place.
Secretary General of Addiction Treatment Charity Actis, Pernille Huseby, branded Spillavhengighet study as needless and contradictory.
Huseby reported that Storting (Parliament) had extensively analysed the business dynamics back in 2018, backing the current model of Norway.
Huseby told Norwegian media: “The unequivocal answer was that, with regard to accountability and a safe framework, the ‘one-law model’ was what the majority in the Storting thought would be safest…we still stand by that.”
Renewing Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto’s compromises, both Storting and Lottstift have underlined that the Norwegian government has no intentions to reform its gambling policies or open up any international trade markets.