Norway Blocks Transactions To Foreign Gaming Hubs

Norway Blocks Transactions To Foreign Gaming Hubs

Online gaming in Norway has received serious criticism from the European Gaming and Betting Association, mainly directed at the government’s recent announcement to cut transactions with foreign operators. According to EGBA, the country is in urgent need of new gambling regulations, that could enable websites with non-Norwegian licenses to provide services to its residents, claiming that the current system is simply not sustainable.

At this point, players from Norway can engage in legal gambling only at two sites –Norsk Tipping or Norsk Rikstoto, both controlled by the state. Nevertheless, punters also join various international casinos without the state’s license, causing a lot of turmoil in Norwegian online gaming regime.

Strict Control of Internet Activity

It may sound quite shocking, that a country so liberal in terms of democracy has such strict views on online gaming. However, the government has completed a proposal to even start blocking financial transactions to foreign gaming websites. The EGBA has expressed a negative view on these plans, stating that controlling internet activity in such way is unrealistic and ineffective.

Furthermore, the Association has initiated legal actions against the plans to start blocking transactions, claiming it is illegal under both Norwegian and EU law. Secretary general of the European Gaming and Betting Association, Maarten Haijer said:

“From a consumer perspective, there are only two licensed gambling providers in Norway – both state-owned – and this is just not sustainable in an age when consumers can easily search around the internet for their preferred choice of gaming product.”

Fair Co-Existence

Haijer also advocates for a fundamental revision of Norwegian regulations, stating that local and foreign operators can co-exist and have equal rights regarding consumer demands for distinct gaming products. Instead of bringing the activity of foreign sites under its control, the government is banning transactions…

The Norwegian Gambling Authority should engage in same activities like its neighboring European countries, whose market values quadrupled thanks to meaningful adjustments of the law and looser regulations, added Haijer.

Source:

“EGBA calls for ‘fundamental rethink’ on Norway regulations”, igamingbusiness.com, August 22, 2018.

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