Gunn Merete Paulsen: Lotteritilsynet will continue its toughest stance against remote actors

Speaking to national media, Gunn Merete Paulsen, Director General of Lotteritilsynet – Norway’s gambling authority – has stated that the government’s tougher stance against foreign betting operators is working.

Presenting Lotteritilsynet’s annual report, Paulsen details that in 2018 Norway saw its first decrease in remote gambling interactions/engagements following years of growth.

Tougher measures introduced by the government including remote gambling payment blocks enforced on all Norwegian banks, has seen Lotteritilsynet report that wagering on unregulated online casinos by national consumers has declined to 10% from 30% recorded from 2014-17.

Furthermore, Lotteritilsynet reports consumer declines in engagement, with remote bookmakers fulfilling its core mandate of protecting state-owned Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto gambling enterprises.

“The payment ban enforcement is perhaps the best instrument we have to stop the illegal provisions of gambling in Norway,” said Paulsen. “In 2019, the regulations are further tightened through a regulatory change. We will gain better support to stop deposits for gambling.”

Presenting a forward-looking statement, Paulsen underlines that in 2019 Lotteritilsynet will seek to bring a tougher advertising code on media owners with regards to broadcasting/publishing gambling-related content.

Hen states that Lotteritilsynet has opened discussions with international media owners, seeking to prohibit gambling content being broadcast to Norwegian audiences regardless of jurisdiction.

The regulator has warned international broadcasters TV3, ViaSat, MAX, VOX and Eurosport that cross-border programming and channels cannot feature gambling advertisement.

At a digital level, Lotteritilsynet will continue to pressure Tech giants Apple and Facebook on restricting and removing apps/pages which are deemed to be targeting Norwegian national consumer with remote gambling services.

Whilst Paulsen’s 2018 directives have proved effective, the Norwegian government has come under criticism of regulatory over-reach in its stance against online gambling.

This February, Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), said that Lotteritilsynet has simply used national banks as its prohibitive measure, rather than pushing for an informed regulatory reform on Norwegian gambling.

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