- Norwegian gambling authority to keep state-regulated model
- Player and industry safety cited as main reasons for decision
Norway’s gambling authority if reported to have reached a decision to keep the country’s state-run gambling model, citing player safety as the main reason for doing so.
Atle Hamar, Director General of the Norwegian Gaming Authority, revealed the decision at the International Association of Gaming Regulators conference in Johannesburg, stating that Norway’s state-run model provides the safest environment for local punters.
Hamar is also reported to have noted that the gaming authority plans to protect Norway’s market from illegal operations as well as ignoring attempts to privatise the industry.
State-run market safer for players
Unlike many other countries, Norway does not permit international operators to operate within their state meaning the entire gambling industry is state-run.
Norwegian lawmakers had previously discussed possible changes to the industry, which included considering whether to open opportunities for international operators to invest.
However, the most recent decision was made on the basis that a monopolised system is safer for players given that it can be effectively regulated by the state.
Last December, a white paper bill was presented by the Minister of Culture detailing how the country’s current casino and gambling model had consistently proven safe for players.
The bill argued that the industry should not be re-structured and that players would be less safe should international operators be allowed to start operating within the state.
This is despite other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark opting to re-structure their gambling industries to welcome foreign investment.
Sweden and Finland have also considered changing the way their systems operate to include international operators but are still currently opting for the traditional Scandinavian state-run model. Norway, however will certainly be one state that will be maintaining their completely state-run gambling industry.
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