EGBA Calls on Norway to Shift from Monopoly to Licensing Model for Online Gambling

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged Norwegian politicians to move away from the current state gambling monopoly and toward a licensing model for online betting and gaming. Norway is one of the few European nations that still has a state-run gambling monopoly, with Norsk Tipping in charge of online casino gaming and sports betting and Norsk Rikstoto in charge of horse racing.

Norway, according to EGBA, should follow in the footsteps of neighboring nations such as Sweden and Finland, which have already implemented licensing systems. According to EGBA, this change would address concerns such as customers flocking to illicit gaming sites.

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Maarten Haijer, the Secretary-General of EGBA, pointed out that the belief in a monopoly model as a necessity for safer gambling does not align with the prevailing European trend. He noted that almost every other European country has embraced some form of licensing system, effectively prioritizing player safety within a regulated framework that offers clear rules for companies to follow.

Haijer emphasized that Norway should consider the demand for alternative gambling options within its borders. A licensing system, he added, could boost tax revenue and enhance safer gambling measures by regulating a broader range of operators within the country.

Norway’s commitment to an exclusive gambling monopoly sets it apart from other mainland European countries, said Haijer, who urged Norwegian authorities to assess whether this approach remains relevant in the digital age compared to practices adopted by other European nations. EGBA strongly encourages Norwegian authorities to weigh the advantages of a licensing model to meet the evolving needs of players and prioritize player safety in gambling regulation.

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Recently, Kindred announced its withdrawal from the Norwegian market. Norway’s regulator, Lotteritilsynet, confirmed the exit of several companies, including Kindred, Betsson, ComeOn, Bet365, Mariacasino, Storspiller, and Bingo. These companies operated in Norway through Kindred subsidiary Trannel. Lotteritilsynet also warned that companies failing to withdraw may face website blocking in 2024.

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