Norway and Its Approach to Handling Casinos Online

In its handling of online casinos and gambling in general, Norway uses three approaches. 1. It places the onus of responsibility with registered establishments. 2. The country addresses the internal and external motivations that may distinguish between addictive and destructive engagement versus altruistic behavior and intent. 3. Norwegians aim to limit negative consequences possibly unacknowledged in the heat of play. This is done for the benefit of the individual, the community and their financial industry.

Norway currently applies three direct and two indirect legislative regulations to combat an unhealthy engagement in gambling. The three are the Totalisator Act (1927), the Gaming Scheme Act (1992) and the Lottery Act (1995), that all combine to enhance the 1902 penal code ubiquitously considered too stifling. The two indirect laws are the Marketing Control Act and Norway's Taxation regulations. Totalisator laws solely involve horseracing. And this activity is only offered through the company Norsk Rikstoto.

Any betting associated with this industry must only occur through a licensed entity, and only a horse breeding or affiliated establishment can receive licensure as such. Norsk Rikstoto governs such licensure. Gaming Scheme laws also reinforce the mandate for licensure for gambling and covers activities outside of horseracing, such as electronic gaming machines (EGMs), poker, bingo and lotto. The governing body for these activities is Norsk Tipping. In this way, these two Acts formulate these two governing bodies or companies.

The Lottery Act, just like the others, reiterate the mandate for licensure. Furthermore, Norway rules that an entity can only qualify for licensure when their purpose for the lottery is an humanitarian or social benefit. Therefore, a commercial entity cannot engage in lottery generation, distribution or marketing of any kind. All lottery profits must find home with an humanitarian or charitable cause.

The two indirect laws ensure that the three main Acts are not sidestepped by cunning or creativity. Marketing Control legislation disengages chance. If an entity purports to advertise the sell of an item or items pursuant to a chance opportunity to win some consequent benefit or gift or prize, that entity is in violation. One can see here Norway's attempt to put blinders on the heads of motivation to steer players away from unfettered gambling and toward focused responsibility. Regarding taxation, the laws on the books in Norway indicate a tax collected against all gambling and gaming winnings as income or capital gain whether won at home or abroad, online or in a brick and mortar site.

Norway recognized, perhaps before many other nations, the potential for magnified harm when it comes to gambling online. Perhaps prescient to the impact of the Internet of Things, Norway has implemented successful stopgates that limit the amount of damage or harm an individual or family may encounter. The country would, otherwise, have to help manage possible negative consequences.

First of all, an online gambling service must maintain a bona fide and reputable relationship with at least one of their approved, brick and mortar, casino establishments. Secondly, digital, financial transactions involving a gambling or gaming entity are prohibited and blocked automatically by Norway's banks. Establishments that offer gambling and gaming services in Norway, do so through a card specifically designed and chartered for that purpose. These cards contain inherent limitations and are directly connected to the player's bank account.

Access limitations are executed at both the transactional and computer ISP levels. However, because the onus of responsibility lies with the legitimate, established, commercial entities and not the individual players, players are not punished should they find a way to circumvent these stopgates and take on the risky behavior of gambling online through an unverifiable source.

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