It’s a new dawn and a new day for the gambling industry in Norway. Well, at least so it seems. Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality has proposed a new Gambling Act. And now the lawmakers have initiated a consultation, hoping to put three existing laws under one roof. Currently, three laws regulate gambling in Norway: the old Gambling Act (1992), the Lottery Act (1995), and the Totalizator Act (1927). The new Act should replace all three and make things easier for everyone.
Put simply, the proposed law combines all three existing laws in one place. However, it has been updated with new rules and directives as well. One of the most important ones is about “infringement fees”.
Essentially, all operators that fail to comply with the Act will have to pay a fine. Knowing Norway, the fines will probably be pretty hefty and serve as a neat way to improve the state’s budget. After all, every unlicensed company that targets Norwegian players will probably face it at some point. In Norway, only Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are allowed to provide gambling services. They have a market monopoly.
The fact that the Government didn’t do a thing to open the market to new operators was faced with harsh criticism. The strongest opponents of the new-old approach are members of the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming.
In addition, the country’s regulator, Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (also known as Lotteritilsynet), will now require companies to pay penalties for not being obedient. The suggested fine is 10% of the operator’s turnover, calculated before any winnings have been paid out to players.
Yet, this fee will be applied only if Lotteritilsynet notices the operator is not doing business in line with the Act. The authority may also consider other factors when determining the fee. Some of them include willingness to work with officers in solving the problem, financial stability, and the preventive effect. Additionally, the Norwegian watchdog will also look into the seriousness of the infringement, as well as the duration of the whole thing.
Lotteritilsynet may also ask for information from third parties, to inspect gambling transactions. Furthermore, it is very likely the new law will introduce a total ban on ads by unlicensed operators, on all platforms.
The new Act also proposes merging the supervision of licensed operators. It is hoped the new type of approach will make the entire regulatory system more effective.
The new law is open to discussion until the 5th of August 2022. If it gets approved, it will come into power on the 1st of January 2023.