The Norwegian government is looking to streamline gambling laws while also making it clear that the future of the two state monopolies is not up for discussion.
This past Monday, the country’s Culture Ministry tabled a proposal aimed at unifying the current Totalizator, Lottery and Gambling Act under one legislative wing. As a result, authorities launched consultations expected to run through to the 29th of September.
The country’s Culture and Gender Equity Minister, Abid Raja, stated that this exercise aims to encourage responsible Gambling and to prevent Gambling –related issues. A comprehensive perspective on all aspects of Gambling will see the Ministry take over regulatory responsibilities, and this would eliminate the need for a lottery committee or the Ministry of Agriculture’s management role of this sector.
Also, the new measures are tailored to ensure Gambling isn’t too expensive and that minors and the vulnerable are protected. The Ministry is also seeking and efficient operation from Norsk Tipping, and Norsk Riksoto monopolies through government-led appointments.
That makes it extremely challenging to create a neutral playing ground for the two monopolies. This is the next point of focus. Norway’s Lotteritilsynet will be equipped with additional tools to restrict international players from marketing their products to Norwegian gamblers. It will also be empowered with the capacity to force ISPs to restrict Norwegian gamblers from accessing the said international operators.
The new proposal also takes a shot at loot boxes that come with video games. It suggests that there should be a way to determine when gambling-like features can be defined as Gambling since the law needs to control Gambling and not gambling-like activities.
Beyond bringing together the three laws, the government proposal is essentially an endorsement of the present status quo. The government has been looking to install similar measures over the past few years, even when its neighbours are slowly abandoning this monopoly model in pursuit of a competitive market model.