Norway’s relation with the gambling industry has always been considerably complicated, rough and slightly confusing. According to Norwegian law, all forms of gambling (virtual or otherwise) not controlled by two very specific organizations (and we’ll get to them) are completely illegal. However, a recent study shows that every year many Norwegian gaming enthusiasts decide to make use of unlicensed online casinos to test their luck and skills and make money.

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How can this be if it is, in theory, against their law? Is this a sign for the Norwegian government to finally change their stance on gambling? Before we can all reach a solid conclusion, we must first understand the laws in places, as wells as the entities in charge of controlling online casinos and their land-based counterparts.

Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto

From 1902 onward, in accordance to the Norwegian Penal Code, control of the gambling industry has always rested squarely on the shoulders of the Norwegian Government.  Gaming operators of any kind that offered any and all luck-based games of chance without a government issued license were punished accordingly.

At the tail end of the century, throughout the decade of the 90’s, the government’s absolute monopoly on gambling was further consolidated thanks to new gaming acts. Ever since, all gambling activities, online or offline, are overseen by the previously mentioned state-owned groups: Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto

Norsk Tipping AS handles the lottery, bets on sports and several other games of chance, and is supervised by Norway’s Minister of Culture. Norsk Rikstoto, on the other hand, manages animal racing and all its logistics.  Nowadays, some gambling operators are licensed by these large groups, but they are very few and far between and are taxed considerably. In theory, then, Norwegian gamblers would definitely have to go through these foundations in order to participate in their pastime, correct? Not necessarily, as a 2018 report by Lotteritilsynet has shown.

The reality of Norwegian online gambling

Lotteritilsynet is Norway’s official gambling regulator, and in their 2018 report, they’ve offered numbers concerning the use of unlicensed gambling sites on their country. According to the data they’ve provided, around 10% of Norway’s online gambling enthusiast circumvent the restrictions set in place by the government by going to unlicensed online casinos. The consumers themselves, are not technically breaking any gambling law, which means they are free to choose anr online locale that catches their interest, free of consequences.  This percentage of gamblers flocking to unlicensed online casinos may also be on the rise.

This is, in essence, a double-edged sword. While it’s great that Norwegian gamblers get to decide where to take their business, the government changing and updating their laws to be more modern would allow them to license more casinos without taxing them to an unmanageable level, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the consumer.

At the same time, Lotteritilsynet still aims to take action, where they can, to stop said use of unregulated online locales. Just this year, Lotteritilsynet demanded several operators managed by Trannel International Ltd stop offering their services to Norwegian players. The efficacy of this, however, is still to be seen.

All in all, it appears that gambling laws in Norway need a revamp from the ground up. In the meantime, our website is dedicated to helping Norwegian players find safe and fair online casinos that can provide for their needs, without them having to risk going through some of the more unscrupulous locales. Our resources include a list of casinos available in Norwegian. BetHard Casino, Royal Panda Casino and GoWild Casino are some of the ones you can visit without the need of a virtual private network and you can read more about the games they offer in our website.

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