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Complete Overview of Gambling Industry in Norway

ost types of gambling are illegal in Norway. There are basically only two companies, which have legal permission from government to provide gambling services to the country’s citizens - Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping.

Except for the activities and games offered by these two permitted companies, all other forms are illegal in Norway. And, unless you organize parties as business, gambling parties at private houses are also banned. 

Regardless of gambling regime in Norway, the country has been home for many world class gamblers for last few years.

Overview: Most forms of gambling in Norway have been considered as illegal. Presently, all forms of lottery activities are being monitored by the Norwegian Gaming Authority, which is public authority working control of Ministry of Culture of the Norway. This organization regulates and supervises all types of gambling which are presently legal in the Norway including horse race betting, slot machines, lotteries and online gambling.

As I mentioned before, the country has imposed kind of monopoly on the gambling business allowing only two companies to offer gambling services.

Norsk Rikstoto: The company was established in 1982 with primary goal of running a totalizator game. It is entitled by the Norwegian government to regulate and monitor pari-mutuel betting to animal racing in the Norway. After the establishment, most games were administered by Norsk Tipping until 1993. Three years later, the company was officially entitled with purely administrative and financial responsibilities for providing such games by the Totalisator Act of 1927. Currently, the company offers both web-based and land-based gambling operations and it’s the only legal company that accepts horse race wages on the internet on the country’s territory.

Norsk Tipping: Norsk Tipping is the national lottery of the country. It’s a wholly-state owned company which is under control of Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and it offers lottery games, keno, sports betting and others.

The Norsk Tipping was given monopoly authority for the Norway’s sports and lottery betting operations by the Gaming Act of 1992. Later then, the company was also permitted for the exclusive right to host online Norway casinos website for the country’s citizens.

Online Gambling: When it’s the matter about online gambling in Norway, the situation gets worse on paper than the reality. As you already know, the Norway has toughest laws on anti-gambling.

According to Norway’s present gambling legislation, it’s illegal to bet on other country’s gambling websites. This raised a big concern among local players as well as among foreign gambling service providers.

Last year, Norway’s Minister of Culture announced their intentions to open the Norwegian gambling market, as soon as the local regulators liberalize the online gambling part. The Norway’s government realized the necessity of changing the policy priorities concerning the gambling and gaming operations in the country.

The bottom line is, it is legal to place bets in the state-owned companies, but illegal anywhere else. However, the government won’t pursue individuals who place bets on foreign gambling sites, but they will fine the operators.

Summary: The state controls all the gambling in Norway since circa 1902. And, their casinos are being operated by one of the state owned gambling companies. The Norway’s government is majorly stakeholder in both Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto companies and gambling is illegal if it isn’t offered by these two companies. But, this affects companies only, not the players. The government doesn’t block any offshore online casino websites. The Norway’s online gambling regulations are criticized by many overseas operators. It’s not surprising though, because few online casinos accept players from Norway, regardless of strict regulations released by Norway’s government.

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