Home Insights & Advice Gambling monopoly in Norway: Is this the way to go?

Gambling monopoly in Norway: Is this the way to go?

by John Saunders
17th Nov 21 3:23 pm

Norway uses a single state legislated online casino system for its online gambling provider. This is in stark contrast to most other countries in Europe. It has caused a number of issues within the country, which is rather surprising, given the expected solutions that this method would offer. We’ve taken a closer look to show how the system is working.

Expectations

 Online casino sites, such as Norges Casino, that operate within Norway, are a thing of the past now. The government-backed online casino is the only site that’s allowed to operate within the country at this point. That means that the sites that previously operated as online casinos, have had to find different ways to function now.

The reasoning behind operating in this fashion, is to simply make sure that players are fully protected, and that problem gambling can be monitored more strictly. While the idea behind it may well be noble, there are some who believe that there are more nefarious reasons influencing this method, and it hasn’t worked out exactly in the way the Norwegian government would have hoped.

Reality

 The reality of the situation, is that many gamblers have chosen to play outside of the Norwegian government’s jurisdiction. It means that many players are choosing to play at offshore casinos. This has thrown up a whole range of different issues.

The main reasoning behind players choosing to play elsewhere, is that the lack of competition for Norway state casinos, means that it feels it doesn’t have to provide a fantastic service. It means that in comparison to other sites on the market, it is trailing quite far behind. This can be judged terms of bonuses, site usability, and the games that are available.

As such, players don’t want to use a substandard service, and instead, they are using offshore sites instead. This means that sites that allow a range of casino operators to be in place, such as the UK, that have strict regulations, have a much better handle on the gambling situation.

It has caused the exact thing the Norwegian government wanted to avoid, which is to become one of the most significant issues caused by the state operator.

Issues arising

One of the biggest concerns for the Norwegian government, is that problem gamblers can go undetected when using offshore sites. While a lot of offshore sites have regulation in place from some of the most stringent regulators, such as the MGA and the UKGC, some of them don’t have regulation at all. It means that problem gamblers can play here without anyone truly watching out for them.

This means that restrictions can be lifted much more easily, and problem players won’t be spotted. As such, the main issue that surrounded the creation of the state casino, is becoming a much greater issue.

A secondary issue, is that a lot of tax revenue is leaving the country. Because players are looking towards offshore casinos instead of playing at the state casino, the revenue that these sites create isn’t taxable by the Norwegian government. If the country had chosen to put tight regulations in place, then there is a good chance that this wouldn’t be an issue. A greater range of choice available to players will ensure that they play at state regulated sites more willingly.

Future plans

At this moment in time there are no plans in the future to change how the system works. This is despite the system working differently in countries, such as Germany and the UK to much higher levels of success. Obviously, no system provides perfect success, but there is a much higher rate of success in countries that have tight regulations in place.

Norway would be sensible if they choose to abandon the single operator model, and look at how other countries work. As there are already a number of offshore sites available, it wouldn’t be too difficult to put regulation in place. This would then allow Norway to protect players much more effectively, as well as bringing in much more tax revenue in the long run.

 

Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org

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