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EGBA Urges Norway to Adopt Licensing for Online Gambling

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged Norwegian lawmakers to transition from the current state monopoly system to a licensing model for online gambling. Norway is one of the few European countries with a state monopoly on gambling, where Norsk Tipping controls online casino gaming and sports betting, while Norsk Rikstoto manages horse racing.

EGBA Urges Norway to Adopt Licensing for Online Gambling

EGBA believes that Norway should follow the example of other European markets, such as neighboring Sweden and Finland, and adopt a licensing system. EGBA Secretary-General Maarten Haijer argues that this shift would address issues like consumers gambling on unlicensed websites and promote player safety within a clear regulatory framework.

Haijer stated, "The belief that a monopoly model is essential for safer gambling does not align with the current European trend. Nearly every other European country has implemented some form of licensing system, successfully prioritizing player safety within a regulatory framework that provides clear rules for companies to follow. In Norway, there is a clear demand for alternatives to the current gambling monopoly, as evidenced by the determination of players to actively seek out and access international websites which offer them greater choice. It is crucial for the government to recognize and respond to this demand."

He emphasized that a licensing system would meet the evolving needs of Norwegian players, boost tax revenue, and enhance safer gambling measures by regulating more operators within the country. Norway currently maintains its exclusive gambling monopoly, making it the only mainland European country committed to such a model.

Despite Norway's gambling monopoly, several operators and websites continue to operate in the country. Notably, Kindred recently withdrew from the Norwegian market, ending a prolonged battle with Norway's regulator Lotteritilsynet. The regulator warned that companies failing to withdraw may face website blocking in 2024.

EGBA's call for a licensing system reflects a broader trend across Europe, where many countries have moved away from monopolies to embrace a licensing model for online gambling to improve regulation, promote player protection, and generate tax revenue.



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