How the Online Betting Market Works in Norway
With the popularity that online betting has experienced around the world, it is easy to imagine that it is the same in every country. However, there are countries such as Norway that have always had a sense of uniqueness in their mode of operation. The country has shown the same stark difference in how it treats online betting, so we had a chat with bettingselskaper.com to get some insights into Norway’s unique approach for online betting.
While the government of Norway has always been dedicated to granting its citizens freedoms, it is very wary about factors that can cause social problems. Gambling is viewed as one such vice and is generally frowned upon by authorities.
Over time, the government has sought to control gaming and continues to do so even in the internet age. As of 2020, only two state-owned betting companies, Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are licensed to offer betting services in the country. They have both physical and online presence.
The country does not allow foreign-based companies to operate within its territory. Therefore betting in Norway is technically illegal if done outside the two entities. There have even been proposals to ban such offshore companies from advertising in the country. However, as part of the EU, the country cannot directly prohibit its citizens from accessing these sites. Granted, their operations are part of the EU Economic Bloc and blatantly keeping them out would be a violation of trade agreements.
As regards to the gambling age, all bettors are required to have attained the age of 18 years. Winnings on betting are not taxed, but players are advised to declare winnings that exceed 100,000 NOK (around £9000). Foreign winnings would attract a 24% tax in line with the financial policy. However, the declaration of the same would be sort of admitting taking part in illegal activity.
The standard of living in Norway is good, which means that most people have a decent disposable income. It thus becomes a matter of personal choice, whether people bet or not. Due to the cultural fabric, betting is not considered a problem in the country. A lot of people bet for leisure.
The issue of betting on foreign sites is what could be a problem. There are some games and odds that may not be found on Rikstoto or Tipping, yet players want to bet on them. Because of the existing loophole in playing rules, a sizeable chunk of players still bet online in offshore sites.
Sports betting is the most popular form of online gaming that takes place in Norway. Tipping offers various sports disciplines in its betting catalogue, while Rikstoto is majorly involved in horse race betting. People go for offshore online companies in search of better odds and broader markets, e.g. in-game betting and accumulator odds.
What Next for Betting in Norway
As things stand, Norway is probably undertaking an exercise in futility in keeping its players away from offshore online sites. Many are still playing anyway.
Banning banks from actualising transactions is pointless, given the prominence of e-wallets today. The government’s effort to maintain sanity in the practice is, however, noble. To make it more meaningful, the authorities could instead use the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs, which is in charge of Tipping, to educate citizens and promote responsible betting.