Peculiarities of regulation of gambling business in Norway
Until the twentieth century, there was not a single casino in Norway. All this time most types of gambling were considered illegal. Only in 1927, the authorities adopted a bill "On sweepstakes" and for the first time created a legal precedent for the legalization of the gambling industry.
Exactly 20 years later (in 1947) the state company Norsk Tipping was established, which at that time specialized exclusively in the organization of lotteries. In 1992 when the Gaming Act was passed this company was given monopoly control of all lotteries, sports betting and other legal gambling. Today, Norsk Tipping controls gaming through mobile apps and the Internet. However, in order to access the state monopoly's content, players are required to register and get a Playcard.
Norsk Rikstoto is a younger company in the Norwegian gambling market. It was established in 1982 to legally launch the V6 sweepstakes. Since 1996, the firm was given the legal right to run all betting in Norway.
The following types of gambling are allowed in the state:
- scratch games;
- Horse racing betting;
- IVT - interactive video terminals;
Legislation regulating gambling in Norway
The entire gambling industry in Norway is regulated by three pieces of legislation:
- Totalisator Act of 1927;
- Gaming Act of 1992;
- Lottery Act of 1995.
According to these laws all the exclusive rights to provide most types of offline and online gambling belong to the state companies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Although there is a strictly limited right for private operators to apply for a lottery and gambling license. However, they are not entitled to request a full license.
Legislation in Norway prohibits providing any form of gambling entertainment without an appropriate license for it. What is interesting, the citizens themselves are not forbidden to participate in unlicensed gambling activities. That is, it is not a crime for Norwegians to visit sites that do not have a gambling license.
Persons under the age of 18 are strictly prohibited from participating in any form of gambling entertainment, except scratch cards.
Gambling business in Norway is controlled by four authorities:
- Norwegian Gaming Authority - responsible for the supervision and control of private operators. It issues and revokes licenses, certificates and permits for gambling activities, as well as imposes administrative sanctions for violations of relevant legislation;
- The Ministry of Culture - regulates the "lottery" and "gaming" acts. Also this regulator can issue general instructions to gambling;
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Food - oversees the implementation of the law "on sweepstakes" and issues general instructions applicable to gambling;
Lottery Committee (Lotterinemnda) - an independent administrative body appointed by the Ministry of Culture. It is the court of appeal for administrative decisions under the Lottery Law.
Licensing conditions in the gambling industry
Almost the entire gambling industry in Norway is a monopoly of two companies: Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. However, commercial organizations can also apply for a lottery license. According to the Lottery Act, they can apply for a license for the following activities:
- Post-raffle and pre-raffle lotteries drawn up by the Norwegian
- Gaming Center or other public authority;
- lotteries drawn up by a commercial operator;
- organization of a poker tournament. A license is issued to hold an annual Norwegian championship in three types of tournament poker
- and to hold five regional qualifying championships;
- Preliminary drawing of scratch cards;
- gambling activities on Norwegian ships;
- slot machines.
Activities not requiring a license:
Lotteries with an annual turnover of more than 200,000 NOK (Norwegian kroner), provided they have humanitarian and socially beneficial purposes. However, if organizations use commercial companies to arrange their activities on their behalf, a license is required;
Bazaar, where the maximum prize is 8,000 NOK, the maximum bet is 5 NOK and the total value of all winnings is a maximum of 40,000 NOK;
Private poker tournaments, which are held in private homes between people from the same social circle, provided that they are not of a "professional nature". The age of participants must be at least 18 years, the number of participants - less than ten, and the maximum bet per player - 1 000 NOK.
Licenses are issued by the Norwegian Gaming Center. The conditions for obtaining them:
The company must submit a certificate of no criminal record for the chairmen of the board of directors and the CEO. This certificate proves that they have not been guilty of any crimes related to violation of the Lottery Law;
the company must be solvent;
it must be registered with the NCCRLE.
The processing time for a license application is about three months. The duration and cost of each license depends on the type of activity for which it is given:
Post-raffle and pre-raffle lotteries drawn up by the Norwegian Gaming Centre or other public authority cost NOK 3,000 and are valid for one year;
lotteries drawn up by a commercial operator - 30,000 NOK with an annual fee of 20,000 NOK until the end of the validity period (9 years);
organisation of a poker tournament - NOK 10,000. Annual fee of 60,000 NOK. Expiry period - 3 years;
bingo - 1,250 NOK, valid for one year;
preliminary scratch card making - 6,000 NOK.
organization approval fee - 1,000 NOK;
commercial operator approval fee - 20 000 NOK;
Property owner approval fee - 1,200 NOK.
Online gambling in Norway
Online gambling in Norway is subject to the same laws and regulations as offline. Advertising and virtual gambling activities are prohibited without an appropriate license.
Only two state-owned companies have exclusive rights to provide online gambling entertainment. Norsk Riskoto's website allows betting on horse racing and Norsk Tipping offers lotteries, slot machines, sports betting, poker, keno and scratch cards. The website norsk-tipping.no/kongkasino is the first online casino created by Norsk Tipping that operates with permission from the authorities.
However, officially allowed sites have quite severe restrictions, so most Norwegian citizens prefer to visit unlicensed sites. In addition to not having any restrictions, many of them have a Norwegian interface and accept Norwegian kroner (NOK).
The game of poker is very popular among Norwegians. However, due to very strict laws, players are forced to turn to various online portals. Popular poker rooms with a Norwegian interface include:
- Poker Stars;
- Full Tilt;
- Betway Poker;
- Bet365 Poker;
- Unibet Poker.
Popular slot machines in Norway
In Norway, especially popular are slot machines produced by IGT and NetEnt. Selection of the five most popular models:
Hall Of Gods is a 5-reel machine by NetEnt. It has 20 paylines, special symbols, freespins, a bonus game and a three-tier progressive jackpot;
Texas Tea is a slot machine with five reels and nine paylines from studio IGT. The game involves two special symbols: scatter and bonus. There is also a bonus round;
Tripple Red Hot 777 is a popular slot company IGT. It has three classic reels and five paylines. The game has a wild, which brings additional multipliers, as well as a bonus picture that triggers free spins with additional features;
Cats is a 5-reel machine with 30 paylines. Its developer is also a company IGT. The game is characterized by double symbols and free spins;
Cash Coaster is a slot with five reels and thirty fixed paylines. The manufacturer is the IGT studio. This model has free spins, special symbols, Roller Coaster Wild option and other interesting features.
Norwegian developers of gambling software
Despite the strictness of gambling laws, Norway can boast of some famous software developers. For example, Funcom, which began its existence in 1993. Since then, it has developed and released more than 25 games for various platforms. The most famous are MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures and Anarchy Online, as well as The Longest Journey series.
Prospects for the development of gambling business in Norway
The Norwegian gambling industry has come quite a long way. If in the 1950s gambling in the country was perceived as something unworthy, today Norway is the third largest gambling industry in Europe.