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Norway Online Casinos

Norway Online CasinosNorway has some of the strictest gambling controls in Europe, yet it is also the home country of some of the world’s best poker players, such as Ola 'Odd Oddsen' Amundsgaard and Johnny Lodden.

Those players, and thousands of other Norwegians, started their poker careers online at overseas poker rooms. It wasn't until 2014 that the Norwegian government finally legalised live poker tournaments enabling casinos to host competitions locally.

While some sports betting and lotteries are allowed, the only licensed operators are wholly state-owned, and as Norway is not a member state, there is little the EU can do to make them change this monopoly.

Technically it is against the law for players to use foreign-based casinos and betting sites, but a recent report estimated that offshore operators are taking up to $170m in wagers from Norwegian bettors every year. The law has never been enforced, however, and policy is more targeted towards the protection of the government’s monopoly.

For those that want to play online, we've hand-selected the best Norwegian online casinos here:

Top Casino Sites in Norway 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
200% UP TO 12000 KR
2
200% UP TO 20,000 KR
3
100% UP TO 16000 KR
4
100% UP TO 8000 KR
5
100% UP TO KR1000

Top Casino Sites in Norway 2017

1
Casumo Casino
200% UP TO 12000 KR
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2
Dunder Casino
200% UP TO 20,000 KR
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3
Jackpot City Casino
100% UP TO 16000 KR
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4
CasinoLand
100% UP TO 8000 KR
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5
Spin Palace Casino
100% UP TO KR1000
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Closed Shop

Monopolies over the gambling industry are a common theme in Scandinavian countries, and much like Finland and Sweden, Norway has consistently attempted to block foreign operators in order to protect the government’s income stream. However, unlike it's 2 neighbours, Norway is not a member of the EU and therefore cannot be put under pressure to comply with European-wide ‘free movement of services’ regulations.

The only two legal betting companies in Norway are Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping. Lotteries, sports betting and instant betting markets are controlled by Norsk Tipping, while all sports involving animals, including Horse Racing, are taken care of by Norsk Rikstoto. Both companies are completely state-owned.

Three pieces of legislation – the Totalizer Act of 1927, the Gaming Act of 1992 and the Lottery Act of 1995 – served to strengthen the monopoly, and more or less all forms of gambling outside of these two firms is considered illegal in the country. One exception is private parties, which can be organized in private homes, as long as they are not run as a business.

Online gambling – apart from the markets and games offered by Norsk Tipping – is considered illegal in the country, and the government have taken considerable steps to prevent overseas companies from conducting business in Norway.

Where did all the Slots Go?

Slot machines have an equally interesting history in Norway, and when they were first introduced into the country, they fell under the 1995 Lotteries Act. In 1990 gross turnover from slots was just NOK 200 million, but by 2004 this had grown immensely to NOK 26 billion, some 64% of the total gross turnover for the gaming and lottery sector.

The Lottery Act only certified charitable organizations to run slot machines, but it did not restrict private companies from running the machines on an organization’s behalf and sharing the profits. The government banned slots in 2007, and 20,000 machines were removed from the country, with one official reason given that slots had been responsible for a rise in problem gambling. However, the Norwegian government re-introduced slots in the form of interactive video terminals in 2009, under the control of Norsk Tipping.

Not in My Back Yard

The rise in internet betting has caused issues for many countries, and Norway has discovered like many others that the online market is very hard to control. Since 2010 the government has passed various laws to try and keep foreign gambling operators out of the country, but it appears to be fighting a losing battle.

They used America’s Unlawful Internet Enforcement Act of 2006 as a guide for their own Payment Act in 2010, which forbids banks and payment processors from facilitating transactions to offshore casinos and betting sites. The legislation doesn’t target individuals, but the financial institutions instead, and it makes it a little more difficult for Norwegian players to fund an account. However, in 2011, a full year after the policy was introduced over 300 operators admitted they were still accepting wagers from Norwegian players.

There are currently no laws requiring ISP’s to block ‘unlicensed’ casinos and websites, but the government has indicated that it may look at legislation to prevent foreign broadcasters from advertising unlicensed operators through Norwegian media outlets.

A study by the Ministry of Justice in 2014 showed that 42% of Norwegians believed that services advertised publicly must therefore be legal, while a further 20% admitted to being unsure of the sites’ legal status. The report also stated that 90% of all television betting advertising comes via international broadcasting companies.

Changes Afoot

The Ministry recommended that the government should bolster the Payment Act by requesting transaction processing reports from banks, and that it should also impose heavy fines on broadcasters and media outlets who advertise unlicensed gambling companies. In 2014 the Norwegian Gambling Authority issued a statement to European iGaming operators stating that it would crack down on those attempting to attract Norwegian customers, while the government also lodged complaints against various Swedish broadcasters who were allowing advertising on cross-border broadcasts.

This is in stark contrast to reports in 2013 that suggested the Norwegian government was set to create new legislation whereby it would open its borders to foreign operators by 2015, under a new legislative framework. As recently as September 2014, Norwegian Culture Secretary, Thorhild Widvey, gave her support to reform of the gambling industry, saying, “I hope we can have a regulatory framework in place in time for a Norway Championship of Poker to be held in Norway in 2015.”

That looks to be wishful thinking at this stage. The government needs to accepts that online gambling is here to stay. Online casinos in Norway are readily available and until a time comes when the government is ready to tax and regulate the industry correctly, players will continue to frequent unlicensed shops.

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