The Norwegian government has launched a consultation to gather stakeholder feedback on Storting’s (Parliament) approved order to merge and replace the nation’s fragmented gambling laws.
Proposed by the Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality, Norway’s government has been urged to replace its gambling laws formed under the separate Totalizer Act (1927), Gaming Scheme Act (1992) and Lottery Act (1995).
Last Summer, Storting approved a proposal by former Culture, Sports and Equalities minister Abid Q Raja, who recommended that the government establish a ‘common and systematic policy’ governing all gambling disciplines.
Seeking to unify Norway’s separate gambling statutes – the draft decree has focused on establishing common laws to prevent problem gambling, protect minors and establish fixed advertising/marketing safeguards.
The consultation will not review Norway’s monopoly rights model held by Norsk Tipping (lottery/betting) and Rikstoto (racing).
Instead, it has recommended that the supervision of Norway’s state monopolies be merged under one government department – rather than continue gambling’s existing ‘split guardianship’ that maintained by The Lottery Committee, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Of significance, the Ministry of Culture has advised that Lottstift Norway’s gambling regulator be strengthened with new instruments to impose tougher restrictions and direct actions on unlicensed operators.
New powers will allow Lottstift to request ‘direct information’ from financial institutions to examine gambling transactions, as the regulator is given the right to ‘impose a predetermined coercive fine and infringement fees’.
Strengthening Lottstift’s remit, the government has been advised to amend Norway’s advertising laws to prohibit any promotion of unlicensed operators regardless of media platform.
The consultation will be open until 5 August. The Ministry of Culture must ensure that feedback is submitted by Norway’s Institute of addiction, civic ombudsman and children’s education and support department.
Storting aims to adopt new gambling laws by 1 January 2023.