Norway to introduce a unified approach to gambling regulations

Viktor Vangelov | Published 5 Oct 2020, 10:19 p.m.

America has been the focal point of non-UK news coverage lately and rightfully so, I might add. A lot was going on the other side of the pond. A lot of US states have already or in the process of legalising one or multiple forms of gambling, most notably sports betting.

Here’s just a brief overview of some of the events that happened in America. Michigan is closer to launching gambling platforms and Virginia approved sports betting last month.

There are currently three regulators in Norway

This time, on the other hand, we would like to draw your attention to an initiative that takes place on European soil, or to be more precise in Norway. Namely, it has been announced that the Scandinavian country intends to introduce a regulatory body that regulates the industry as a whole, instead of having separate regulators that deal with specific branches of the gambling industry.

Norway isn’t the only and it isn’t the first country that considers taking a more unified approach towards gambling. The existing regulator of gambling operations in Norway – the Lotteritilsynet believes that a such approach would be the right option moving forward. The main advantage, as the gambling operators representatives have claimed is to provider better and more responsible oversight of gambling.

At the moment, the situation in Norway regarding gambling legislation is rather complex. There are three acts – the Gambling Act, the Totalisator Act and the Lottery Act, each of which regulates a different type of gambling. Gambling reform became an issue last year and the authorities have been working to bring the three bodies together, under a larger regulatory body. The minister of culture has been the most notable proponent of changes.

The legal framework for the changes has already been laid out and the solution has been sent to the European Commission.

Changes are introduced to ensure customer protection

The regulatory body via their representatives supports the idea of introducing changes in order to provide a better and more structured oversight of the industry as a whole. It has been argued that the move will enable the country to improve the whole gambling framework which will in turn support in the prevention of problem gambling.

The new regulations will ensure that gambling is available only legally, via controlled channels that gives a chance to control the whole process and ensure that responsible gambling is guaranteed. Norwegian regulation and the regulatory bodies will be given a mandate to provide better control of the market and protect responsible gambling.

The fact that there will be a more unified approach towards gambling regulations, doesn’t mean that the market will be liberalised. State operators have already been warned that the following measures are taken to protect customers. It has been said that the fact that only state-owned operators have been offering certain types of games in the country has helped ensure that players are protected.

It is not clear when Norway will proceed with the initiative, consider that a moratorium on all such legislation has been put recently. However, it was announced that the moratorium will end in November this year, so this will give Norway a chance to pass and implement new legislation.