For over a week now, ads related to gambling have been drawing flak in Norway and Sweden, with lawmakers saying they would either stop running these ads or moderate them under more stringent rules.
The gaming regulator in Norway is set to take strong action against gambling ads airing on television. They are expected to make changes to their regulations to address gambling services which are advertised to the Norwegian audience.
Atle Hamar, director general of the Norwegian Gaming Authority, has recently said local authorities are determined to protect the country’s regulated market against shady gambling services.
The only gambling operators allowed to operate and advertise on Norwegian TV are Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto, which are both government-owned. However, international operators are able to advertise their services on channels that broadcast programs from overseas. According to reports, 62 gambling-related advertisements run on Norwegian television every hour. Norwegian Culture Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland is expected to oversee the implementation of stricter rules on gambling-related advertisements.
Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet, the Norwegian Gaming Authority recently admonished Trustly and Entercash, both payment channels, for failing to prevent transactions between Norwegian gamblers and foreign operators. Norway’s state run gambling industry has been threatened by unlicensed international gaming operators and the government wants to ensure that its monopoly over the gaming industry continues to be protected.
The government recently announced that the country does not need re-regulation of the local gambling market. Authorities are saying that the current monopoly system is working effectively and since Norway is not part of the European Union, it is not expected to bend its current stance on this matter.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s gambling regulator, Lotteriinspektionen, has issued a cease and desist demand to the operator of Metro, to prevent it from advertising on its pages the services of international gaming operators. Metro is circulated for free on a daily basis to over a million readers in the country. Lotteriinspektionen argued that running gambling-related ads is a violation of the Sweden’s Lottery Act.. If Metro violates the cease and desist demand, it faces a penalty of about $30,000.
Government-run Svenska Spel enjoys 50% of Sweden’s gambling market. It promotes responsible gaming and shares its profit with the national treasury of Sweden. However, Sweden is expected to break the current monopoly system in the country and international operators will then be able to penetrate the local market. According to reports, the new gambling law will take effect in early 2019.