Gambling, casinos, slot halls and online casinos in Norway
Gambling in Norway
A significant part of gambling in Norway is illegal. Lotteries and games have always been controlled by the Norwegian government. Under the Norwegian Penal Code (1902), unauthorized gaming operators were to be punished. Citizens can still get a prison sentence (between 3 months to 1 year) for illegal gambling. It is legal to arrange gambling parties at home unless these parties do not turn into organized businesses.
The government works towards stopping foreign companies from operating in Norway. It is currently illegal for Norwegian banks to transfer money between foreign online gambling operators and Norwegians’ bank accounts (https://lovdata.no/dokument/SF/forskrift/2010-02-19-184, https://lottstift.no/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Horingsbrev-forslag-til-endringer-i-forskrift-om-forbud-mot-betalingsformidling.pdf). Norwegian citizens are also required to declare their tax winnings made in another country.
Norway has one of the highest gambling rates in Europe. In 2018, the gross turnover of the Norwegian regulated gambling market was NOK 46.5 billion, an increase by 6% compared to NOK 43.7 billion in 2017 (https://lottstift.no/pengespel/pengespelstatistikk/norsk-pengespelmarknad-i-2018/).
Laws and Regulators
The Gaming Scheme Act (1992), the Lottery Act (1995), and the Totalizator Act (1927, edited 2008-2010) regulate gaming in Norway. These acts established the state monopoly in the gambling industry. The acts ensure that gaming schemes are arranged properly and profits from games are allocated to ‘good causes’ (https://lottstift.no/en/the-gaming-authority/).
Norwegian gambling legislation prohibits operators from providing gambling without a license from the national gaming regulator. The Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (Lotteri-og stifletsestilsynet) is tasked to regulate the gambling market in Norway. The Gaming Authority monitors all private and state operated lotteries and games. It can issue and withdraw licenses and impose administrative sanctions for violating any gambling legislation (https://lottstift.no/en/the-gaming-and-foundation-authority/).
Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are government-owned companies that are allowed to provide gambling services to Norwegian citizens. The money that is made through the companies goes back to the organizations that have to do with sports and culture. No license has been granted to foreign gaming and betting companies.
Land Based Casinos
There are no land-based casinos in Norway. Casino games cannot be provided without a license from the Gaming Authority, and no license has ever been granted to open a land-based casino in Norway.
Slot Machines in Norway.
Slot machines used to be legal, but were officially banned in 2007. In 2009, IVTs (interactive video terminals) were introduced. They are set up in public places (bars, gas stations, malls, etc.) and are called MULTIX.
Norsk Tipping has a state monopoly on providing terminal-based gaming. There are certain restrictions to play. The age limit is 18. The player must have a registered valid account on www.norsk-tipping.no. The player is also required to use a special card.
Due to the absence of land based casinos and strict restrictions imposed on terminals in Norway, it has become extremely popular to gamble on the internet, thus largely increasing the demand for online gambling.
The Norwegian Government tries to protect its monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto (https://www.norsk-tipping.no and https://www.rikstoto.no respectively). In fact, only Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto have been licensed to provide online gambling activities in Norway nowadays. It’s estimated that about 80% of Norwegians gamble online. Norsk Tipping tries to attract more players to play on their site by offering progressive jackpots and interactive casino games.
Foreign and private online operators are banned in Norway.