Norway Asked To Rethink Blanket Ban On Offshore Operators
The online gambling industry across the Europe has grown at a rapid pace as technology continues to evolve and give gaming operators more opportunities to reach a wider audience and market their services. Norway has a legalized gambling industry but the same is limited to only two licensed providers in the country who are owned by the state.
Norway has tried to retain its monopoly over its online gambling industry by taking stringent measures to keep out offshore operators.
The gaming regulator has asked payment processors in the country to stop processing all transactions that originate from offshore gaming providers.
This is one way of keeping offshore operators from providing services to Norwegians as a block on payment processing literally stops them from processing all deposits and withdrawals. The move to ban payment processing for offshore gaming providers has been noticed by the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) who was not very happy with the decision.
The EGBA has advised Norway to change its stance on banning offshore gaming operators reminding them that the market has changed considerably over the years and the market monopoly model was no longer sustainable in this day and age. EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer advised Norway to set up new gaming regulations that allow both domestic and offshore operators to co-exist and offer services to Norwegians in a gaming environment that is well regulated.
Follow Sweden’s Example
In a statement, Haijer said
This can be easily achieved through a national licencing regime, such has been recently introduced in Sweden, which would enable the Norwegian gambling authority to bring the activity of foreign websites under its control, alongside existing state-owned operators. That’s exactly what the overwhelming majority of European countries have been doing, and that’s exactly what we are urging Norway to do
Norway has come down hard on offshore gaming operators in recent times because their business flourished and they grabbed a significant share of the online gaming market cutting into the profits the state owned Norsk Tipping. This was a problem for the government as Norsk Tipping provides a number of charities with revenue that allows them to carry out a number of beneficial activities in the country.
The EGBA did highlight the fact that it was only making recommendations concerning Norway’s gaming environment and was not directly any criticism against the gaming board.