Many countries have been trying to establish a unified regulation system in the gambling industry. Everybody agrees that having a strict regulation system, in general, is essential for providing a high quality of security and protecting your customers from losing money but regulating your county’s gambling sector is not only about harsh restrictions. Having a holistic approach to laws is also important. Although different forms of gambling require different approaches to management, having many different channels of regulations can be harmful, as it is usually a matter of uncertainty and can result in a serious ambiguity.
This is exactly what Norway is concerned about in recent years. The country already had several attempts to establish a unified approach to gambling laws to arrange the gambling sector and avoid negative consequences but until now, no one has paid enough attention to its requirements. However, as the government states the situation in the country worsens, and reforms in the regulatory system are needed as quickly as possible.
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Current regulation system
Norway’s current gambling regulation system consists of three main acts: the Lottery Act, the Gambling Act, and the Totalisator Act. According to the Reuters, Norwegian minister of culture, Abid Raja has been working hard to bring these three different approaches under the one umbrella and make a unified regulation system. Another main problem is the difficulty to regulate online casinos in the country. Due to the sheer number of new online casinos in Norway, or nye norske casinoer as they’re referred to in the country, the government is finding it much harder to maintain the status quo.
As the minister says, divided laws in the gambling industry have faced big challenges and there are many flows in the current regulatory system. The solution for him is this “holistic” approach, integrating the three acts which will make it possible to prevent problematic gambling activity, avoid crime, and protect vulnerable people. He believes that the unified law will provide a more systematic approach to risk assessment and harmonize the situation.
Back in August, he launched a consultation to the European Commission but his attempts had been unsuccessful, as it wasn’t met with attention from the commission. However, now the situation changed and EC decided to take Raja’s initiative into account. Before now there was a moratorium on introducing any updated gambling law in Norway but this suspension is going to end on November 13.
Currently, the gambling system in Norway is regulated by Lotteritilsynet. It is said in the minister’s consultation that the regulator should be given the power to enforce sanctions on operators if needed. Lotteritilsynet also agrees on the idea to change legislative structures to provide a more consistent approach and improve the gambling ecosystem in Norway. They believe that this reform is essential for providing better control of the gambling market and offering more responsible gambling in the country. They want more state-owned operators and think that they will be able to provide consumer protections only in this case.
The unified act sets out that gambling operators would be strictly controlled and providing responsible gambling measures would combat gambling-related crimes. Besides, non-profit organizations will be able to offer gambling games with prizes of small value to their customers. However, nothing is said about the existing ban on payment transactions for deposits or winnings without a permit. In terms of marketing, the revised act supports the promotion of legal games on a limited basis, but these adverts must be presented in a responsible strategy.