Foreign online gaming operators facing Norway remains problematic in Norway. As evinced by the shutdown of two online payment processors.
National regulator Lotteritilsynet has ordered all Norwegian banks to cease payments to and from two payment processors after finding evidence that they changed their account numbers to mask continued transaction acceptance amongst Norwegian players and unlicensed operators.
Lotteritilsynet is further cracking down on a regulation loophole allowing foreign gambling operators to advertise on Norwegian television unchecked.
Unwanted EU-based Advertisement
Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland says that a host of EU broadcasters including channels TV3, Viasat4, Max and Eurosport Norway are circumventing a Norwegian advertising ban against foreign gambling companies.
Helleland called for corrective legislation in the Norwegian Parliamentary before Easter next year in the hopes of remedying the loophole by next summer.
Gambling addiction activist group Actis–Rusfelt welcomed the proposed legislation as an effective remedy for the 120,000 problem gamblers in Norway and vulnerable underage net surfers.
Actis-Rusfelt Position Statement
Actis–Rusfelt acting secretary general Pernille Huseby praised the proposed measures by calling it “gratifying that the government now wants to ensure that foreign gambling companies cannot continue to bypass Norwegian law and send illegal advertising on Norwegian television screens.”
Advertising Rates of Concern
Further figures that alarm Huseby’s organisation include the 62 commercials per hour of Norwegian language gaming advertising that the EU-based channels are running, and the estimated total investment of $866m (€644m) per year by foreign gambling companies in advertisement marketing to Norwegian consumers representing a 17% year-on-year jump in advertising investment.
Local gaming advertising expenditures of a relatively modest NOK 178m by Norwegian gaming monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstot.
Effective Model in Place
The benefits of local regulation extend beyond just attempting to increase market share revenues, but ultimately seek to more effectively distribute gambling revenues for social benefits. Local (and locally regulated) income from Norsk Tipping of NOK 165m in the previous year was effectively distributed to 44 different “socially beneficial and humanitarian organizations,” with the value of these funds increasing an estimated improving 42% year-on-year due to “a larger profit” at the state-owned monopoly.
Getting Things In Order
The Norwegian government’s targeting of payment processors exerts further direct influence over funds used for gambling by Norwegian players, and thus does the government seek to check advertising and foreign operator financial activity.
With the social benefits of regulated monies clear, this looks like a case where government-owned monopolies helps the people in a country where online gambling revenues within the jurisdiction are being used for what one might call ideal purposes under a leading regulation model.