Norway opens consultation on plans to merge gambling laws
The government is consulting on plans to merge three pieces of legislation to create a unified gambling law.
Norway.- The Norwegian government has opened a consultation to collect feedback on its approved order to combine the country’s three existing gambling acts into one. The proposal from the Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality would replace the Totalizer Act (1927), Gaming Scheme Act (1992) and Lottery Act (1995).
The government approved the proposal from former culture, sports and equality minister, Abid Q Raja, last summer in order to create a common approach across all gambling. The draft decree proposes common rules for problem gambling prevention, the protection of minors and advertising and marketing.
It also proposes merging the supervision of Norway’s two state monopoly gambling operators Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto under one government department (they’re currently subject to tripartite supervision by The Lottery Committee, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Agriculture and Food).
The national gambling regulator, Lottstift, would gain new powers, including the ability to take direct action on unlicensed operators and to place tighter restrictions on the licensed monopolies. It would be able to ask for data from financial institutions in order to inspect gambling transactions and would be able to impose a “predetermined coercive fine and infringement fees”.
Proposals also suggested the government amend advertising laws to ban all promotion of unlicensed gaming operators on any media platform.
The consultation runs until August 5. Norway’s Institute of Addiction, Civic Ombudsman and the Children’s Education and Support Department are required to submit feedback. The aim is to adopt the new legislation by January 1.
The national gambling regulator has urged state-controlled Norsk Tipping to introduce loss limits for sports betting and also to reduce the number of online casino games it offers.
The regulator’s annual report for 2021 notes that Norsk Tipping’s customer numbers and turnover hit a record high last year. That’s despite the fact that Norsk Tipping cut its month loss limits for its higher risk games from NOK 10,000 to NOK 7,500 in December 2020 and then to NOK 5,000 (€517) in September last year.
The regulator said that as well as imposing loss limits for online casino games, the operator should also have loss limits for its Oddsen sports betting brand. Meanwhile, the operator should reduce the number of casino games on its Kongkasino site.
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