Norway To Increase Efforts To Ban Offshore Gambling Operators

Norway To Increase Efforts To Ban Offshore Gambling Operators September 23, 2021 September 23, 2021 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry September 23, 2021 by Carolyn Dutton

Norway continues to tighten its regulations on its online gambling market as the Minister of Culture Abid Raja has proposed to block all offshore gambling operators for good. His proposal has received support from the Norwegian government which does not spell good news for offshore gaming operators.

A number of offshore gaming operators have enjoyed a lot of success in Norway for a number of years. Raja started pushing for stricter measures in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and one of those measures was to limit the spending of online players each month.

These measures were initially introduced for a limited period but Raja continued to extend them on the basis that it was providing better protection to Norwegians.

Raja is coming to the end of his term as Minister of Culture and is doing his best to ban all offshore gaming sites before he exits. Norway has already written to the European Commission (EC) asking them for permission to implement DNS blocking. The EC is yet to give approval but Raja is confident that they will be able to rid the market of unwanted offshore gaming providers.

Some of the offshore providers currently operating in Norway include big names like Unibet, ComeOn and Betsson. Raja is also looking to protect the interests of Norsk Tipping, which is the national lottery and to protect the gambling monopoly in Norway.

DNS Blocking Final Resort

Norway has plans to get in touch with all offshore gaming operators and discourage them from continuing to operate in Norway without a valid gaming license. If they ignore the warning and continue to offer gaming services, the next measure is to impose financial penalties on these offshore gaming operators.

The last resort would be to enforce DNS blocking and get Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block these offshore casino domains and create a blacklist. The DNS blocking process will be a last resort for the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA).

A number of European countries are facing a similar problem with offshore gaming operators and have adopted a DNS blocking procedure. The DNS blocking option has worked to a certain extent but not fully because a lot of offshore gaming operators keep changing their domain names and evade the blacklist.

Rolf Sims, PR Manager for the Kindred Group which owns Unibet said they would make a decision after they learn more about what the NGA intends to do.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world