New restrictions on gambling TV advertising in Norway

In Norway, the coming year will bring further restrictions for gaming providers. From January 1, 2021, the Norwegian media regulator will have the right to block TV advertisements from foreign companies. At the same time, the marketing tools of the state providers Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto will also be limited.

In Norway, gambling is threatened with advertising restrictions. (Image: Pixabay / Dean Moriarty)

The possibilities of the two gambling monopoly are limited to the extent that they are no longer allowed to refer to the use of their winnings for a good cause in the usual way. At the same time, contact information for player protection hotlines will have to be displayed in every advertisement in future.

In addition, the authority wants to protect Norwegian players better against unlicensed operators with the option to block foreign TV advertising, according to representatives from Norway's cultural authority.

Culture Minister Abid Raja said:

It is serious that the population's gambling problems are on the rise, and we are working on a number of measures to reverse this trend. The ability to stop television advertising from overseas gambling companies is an important measure in preventing gambling problems. With less gambling advertising on TV, we can also tighten Norsk Tipping's marketing guidelines.

Increasing gambling addiction in Norway

The trigger for the restrictions is a study published in May by the University of Bergen. There was a sharp increase in gambling addiction among Norway’s players.

At the same time, the study invalidates the player protection argument put forward by proponents of the current gaming monopoly. According to the critics, this is not able to curb gambling addiction. Rather, the opposite is the case, since Norway’s players are directly acquired as potential customers by foreign online providers.

One goal of the monopoly model was to keep Norwegian players with a central, licensed provider and to reduce the proportion of foreign providers to 5%. According to the university study, however, this has not yet been achieved. Around 50% of the total turnover would be generated by the unlicensed international online casinos and betting offices.

It remains to be seen in the coming year whether the upcoming advertising ban will be able to restrict the visibility of international providers so effectively that their use by Norway's players will decrease to the intended extent.

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