The Gambling Dilemma in Norway

In Norway, the only two betting sites are Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping. These two organisations have a monopoly on gambling in Norway because the Government of Norway wishes it to be so.


Norsk Rikstoto is dedicated to horse racing and Norsk Tipping is in charge of sports betting, lotteries, keno, scratch cards and poker. The tight restrictions imposed on the gambling industry in Norway allow the government to retain control over gambling revenue and the nations gambling habits; at least in theory.


A Quick Look at the Gambling History

Before we talk about what goes on under the surface, let’s first take a look at the Norway’s history concerning the whys and wherefores of gambling. The country has always taken a strict stance on all forms of gambling. It was only in 1927 that it became legal to place bets on horse racing, hence the reason Norsk Rikstoto came into being. To this day, they are the only entity that are allowed to act as bookies for punters wishing to place bets – both online and offline.


In 1992, the Gaming Act allowed Norsk Tipping to take control of the other forms of gambling and effectively ended the hopes of other gaming establishments wishing to set up shop in the country. The government keeps a very watchful eye on the amount of money being generated by both Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping and ensures that a large portion of the revenue is given to various charities.


Online gambling at foreign casinos was made illegal in 2008. By doing this, Norway hoped to curb the growing trend for online gaming that was taking over most of Western Europe. The fact that Norway is not part of the EU has meant that the Norwegian government has not had to bow to pressure from their more casino-friendly neighbours, Sweden and Finland.


The Reality of Gambling

The everyday reality for Norwegian gamblers, however, is not quite so severe. While there might not be a huge choice of Norwegian casinos, there are plenty of online casinos that will accept Norwegian players – have a look at, for example, to get a better idea of what’s on offer.  These casinos will sometimes even accept Norwegian kroner as currency and offer support in Norwegian.


Individual players who play games at foreign online casinos tend to fall under the governments radar because although the laws are strict, they are not strictly enforced. The government is more concerned with stopping corporations from setting up gambling establishments that would compete with Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping.


Most players will find that they can easily access the games they love whenever they like. The only issue players might find is that they will be unable to make deposits using their credit or debit cards. However, eWallets provide an elegant solution to this problem.


The Future of Norwegian Gambling

We think that it’s only a matter of time before Norway loosens the reigns and allows the online gambling industry to grow within its borders. The amount of revenue generated by this industry is simply too huge to ignore and could provide a boost to the economy that would benefit everybody.


Of course, it is noble and wise to give so much money to charity and to protect citizens from developing gambling addictions, and we hope that Norway continues to take this moral high ground.


But we also do hope that they can also trust in their own people to know how to enjoy gambling without letting the fun become detrimental to their health and well-being. It will certainly be interesting to see how the tide turns in the future.