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Norway Online Casinos and Gambling in 2020

Norway

Norwegians love to gamble and play casino games. But the fast-moving legal situation hasn't always made it possible for players to get their fix in Oslo, Rosenborg, or the Arctic Circle.

For a good online casino, Norwegian-based customers have had to move towards state-run websites and lotteries. Norwegian poker players, meanwhile, have found themselves going overseas to play their own national championships. 

Does that mean Norway online casinos are a complete no-go? Not quite, and there are plenty of online Norway casino sites and offline gambling opportunities in the country. Let's explore the options for Norwegian gaming fanatics.

Online gambling laws in Norway restrict most online casino activity to state-run sites. It should be noted that not all overseas casino sites are available to Norwegian players. However, there are still plenty of offshore online casino sites that accept Norwegians and allow deposits in Norwegian Kroner (kr).

Top Real Money Gaming Sites in Norway 2020

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Online Casino Deposit Methods for Norwegian Players

While the government has a state-run monopoly on online casinos, Norway’s customers are still permitted to play at many offshore gambling sites. Real money deposits and withdrawals can usually be made in Norwegian Kroner using a bank transfer or credit card. However, converting funds to SEK, EUR or GBP is also possible at most sites. When it comes to online gambling, Norway players have plenty of payment methods to choose from. 

Credit, Debit, and Prepaid Cards

Norway online casino sites often accept major credit cards as payment. Additionally, many accept prepaid cards, should you wish to avoid using your personal card to play at an online casino that accepts players form Norway. 

VISA, Mastercard, and American Express are commonly accepted, but it’s helpful to check your preferred site to confirm which cards they accept. When we review Norway online casinos, payment methods are a key criteria. A site with multiple options will set itself apart from one with only one or two payment methods. 

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the hot digital currency that is being accepted widely at first-rate online casinos, including Norway casino sites. Norwegian gamblers can make deposits using a cryptocurrency with no central bank interfering. There are no charges with using Bitcoin or one of its accepted alternatives like Litecoin. 

When you make a transaction from a Bitcoin wallet at an online Norway casino, the digital currency is usually converted into USD or EUR first. Players can then load up their favourite slots and table games easily. The payment is instant, and Bitcoin can be withdrawn back to an exchange or wallet held online.

E-Wallet Services

A safe and low-fee e-Wallet like SkrillPayPal, or Neteller can be a good alternative to a credit card payment. For example, a Skrill "digital wallet" can be loaded with funds using multiple Norwegian bank accounts or credit cards, so you can easily fund your Norway online casino account. With a single PIN and password, Skrill cash is then transferred to the online casino or betting site of your choice.

Paysafecard

Paysafecard is a reliable prepaid voucher payment system. It's available to Norwegians too, which makes it one of the best ways to fund a gambling account. Paysafecard works by purchasing prepaid vouchers from a registered store. You can search for outlets in Norway at the Paysafecard website.

When you log on to online casinos, Norway-based gamblers can enter a simple Paysafecard number and transfer money via the Cashier. There is no fee attached, and it's possible to purchase multiple vouchers in one go.


Popular Norway Online Casino Games and Bonuses

When we recommend an online or mobile casino, Norway players should feel assured that they’re receiving a large library of casino games and benefits. Here’s a rundown of the casino games and bonuses you’ll find at our trusted sites: 

Casino Games

Our top Norway online casinos feature huge portfolios of gaming titles, so you should have no trouble finding a site with your favorite games. 

Online casino games available in Norway include blackjack, roulette, poker (and many poker variants), baccarat, and many others. Of course, there are hundreds—sometimes even thousands—of slot games available at Norway’s online casinos too. Europe is a hub for slot content, and the casinos available to Norwegian players reflect the variety of suppliers in the region.

Bonuses

Casino sites like to keep players engaged by offering bonuses and promotions. Norway’s online casino sites are no different. You’ll likely stumble upon plenty of offers as you explore our top casino sites. 

One of the most common bonus types is a no deposit bonus. Norway online casino players will sometimes receive a small amount of money to use on the site before ever making a deposit. It’s an online/mobile casino’s way of welcoming new players and kicking off their time with the site. 

Also keep an eye out for free spins, which allow you to take a few spins on slot games without paying. Any wins you land can earn you some extra real money to be used later at your online casino site. 

Finally, loyalty and rewards programs can benefit Norway online casino players. The more you play, the more rewards you get. Each program is slightly different, so it’s a good idea to check the fine print to be 100% sure of what the loyalty program offers. 


Norway Online Gambling: The State Players

Is online casino legal in Norway? Yes; the state-run Norsk Tipping site offers both online and mobile games to Norwegians. It also helps run a cross-border Viking Lotto with other countries. It was given the monopoly to run online casino Norway games after the Gaming Act was passed. The site also has a mobile app for play on smartphones and tablets.

For a state-run online casino, Norway players actually have a lot of choice at Norsk Tipping. KongKasino has several dozen modern video slots. Mostly from IGT, there is a decent spread of up-to-date games and player favourites. IGT's classic Cleopatra slot can be played for real money, as well as other top titles from the US developer like Da Vinci Diamonds and Golden Goddess.

Norsk Rikstoto handles betting on greyhounds and horse racing. Like Norsk Tipping, Norsk Rikstoto is overseen by the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority. Primarily, it focuses on horse racing across Europe, as well as harness racing and greyhounds. Gamblers can enjoy specials on prize pools for selected races. Along with races from major courses in France, bets are permitted on certain races from Swedish courses like Solvalla.

Norway has a long history of horse and harness racing. The Oslo Grand Prix is the country's largest Group One harness race and has been held since 1966. The highlight of the flat season, the Polar Cup, is run at the Øvrevoll racecourse and rewards around 1m kroner in prize money to the winning horses.


Understanding Legal Gambling in Norway

Monopolies over the gambling industry are a common theme in Scandinavian countries, and the Norway online casino scene is similar. Much like the gambling situation in Finland and Sweden, Norway has consistently attempted to block foreign operators in order to protect the government’s income stream.

However, unlike its Scandi 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.

In 2018, 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 and regulated through the Norwegian Gaming Authority (Lotteritilsynet).

Three pieces of legislation – the Totalizer Act of 1927, the Gaming Scheme Act of 1992 and the Lottery Act of 1995 served to strengthen the monopoly, and more or less all forms of gambling, online or otherwise 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. However, this hasn’t stopped many operators from still doing so, and many operations of Norway online and mobile casinos continue today. 

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.

After several years of toying with the idea of setting up a framework for legalized offshore gaming, the Norwegian government ultimately decided to stick with the status quo. In 2017, the head of the Norwegian Gaming Authority announced that the state-run model was the best way of protecting vulnerable gamblers. Some profits from the Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto sites go towards charities and good causes.

Though Norway online casinos don’t have state backing, players can still access them, and operators still offer their games to Norwegian players. 


Slot Machines in Norway

Slot machines have an interesting history in Norway. When they were first introduced into the country, they fell under the 1995 Lotteries Act. In 1990 gross turnover from slots was just kr200m, but by 2004 this had grown to kr26bn, around 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 Norwegian 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 (IVTs) in 2009, under the control of Norsk Tipping. These machines require a special card to play them.

However, IVTs are very different to what players in Las Vegas or the UK would recognise as "slot machines." Players can set limits and pay-outs, and wagers are made via a prepaid card. No physical NOK cash goes in or out of the terminals.


Poker and the Norwegian Championships

Norwegians have been big fans of poker since the first online casino sites appeared in Norway in the late 1990s. Like other Scandinavian countries, Norway has produced some top online pros like Johnny Lodden and Annette Obrestad. Local celebrities like model Aylar Lie have also secured good cashes on the world stage.

And in 2007, Obrestad became the youngest ever World Series of Poker champion, winning the event's inaugural tournament in Europe.

In 2014, the then-culture minister proposed a bill to permit real money home games in Norway. A ban on live poker prior to this had meant the Norwegian Poker Championship was being held on foreign soil. Although the 2015 Norwegian Championships was held in Oslo, the "Norwegian" championships have since returned to foreign casinos. In 2017, the Nordic Poker Championship was hosted in Prague and carried a guaranteed prize pool worth 1m euros.


Find the Best Norwegian Online Casinos for 2020

Norway might have some of the strictest internet gaming laws in Europe, but there are still real money online casinos to play at. At the Norsk Tipping online casino, Norway-based gamblers can get their fix of a decent range of games. And sports bettors and lottery players are well served by the government's other gaming websites. 

There is a crackdown at the moment on advertising by overseas betting sites appearing on cable channels. As of 2018, the only sites permitted to advertise gambling on Norwegian TV are Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto. But with so many avenues open to Norway online casino gamblers, it's questionable whether any further prohibitions will work.


Norway Casino Gambling: At a Glance

Population: 5.2 million

Legal Age of Gambling: 18

Land-based Casinos (Y/N): N

Online Casinos Legal (Y/N): Y (state monopoly)

Popular Games: Slot machines, IVTs (Interactive Video Terminals), poker, lottery, horse racing, harness racing


Norway Casino Gambling: A Brief History

1927 - The Totalizer Act of 1927 is passed. Betting prizes are pooled and regulated by the state.

1992 - Gaming Scheme Act is introduced. All online sports betting, casino games, and bingo are overseen by a single state-run monopoly - Norsk Tipping. Norsk Rikstoto is put in charge of supplying legalized horse racing and greyhound betting online.

1995 - Lottery Act is introduced. For the first time, a framework is set up for regulated, state-run lotteries. For a few years, slot machines fall under the regulations of the Lottery Act. The Viking Lotto is launched and allows players in Norway and beyond to participate in a single lottery for real cash prizes. The draw is made each week from Norsk Tipping HQ in Hamar.

2003 - Norsk Tipping is given exclusive rights to operate coin-operated slot machines.

2007 - The process is delayed in giving Norsk Tipping full rights, and in 2007 all slot machines are banned by the Norwegian government.

2008/2009 - Slots are reintroduced under a state-run program of interactive video terminals (IVTs). Norsk Tipping are in control of the machines. There are strict limits put on prizes and stakes.

2010 - The 2010 Payment Act is introduced which makes it illegal for banks to process Norwegian payments to offshore betting sites.

2015 - A live poker championship is held legally in Norway for the first time.

2017 - Moves are made to ban all advertising on Norwegian television from overseas betting sites and casinos.

2020 – Norway’s Ministry of Culture announces plans to launch consultation that could consolidate the country’s gambling laws into legislative document.

Norway Online Casino FAQ

Yes. Norway has state-run online gambling sites that include lottery, sports betting, and casino gaming options. Our full rundown of online gambling in Norway covers the country’s gambling laws and a list of the best online casinos. There are plenty of offshore operators that offer games to Norwegian players, too. Though the government tries to crack down on these operations, players can still access them.

We vet all of our recommended sites so our list consists of only the best online casinos in Norway. When we recommend a casino site, you can rest assured we’ve done all the research necessary to ensure you have a safe, fun experience with plenty of payment options and a wide variety of casino games.

Bonuses vary by casino site, but you’ll find a few common ones at Norway online casinos. You can often claim a no deposit bonus in Norway when you play at an online casino site. Other sites may give players in Norway free spins with no deposit required. Keep an eye out for special bonuses at Norwegian online casino sites, as they can maximize the value of your experience.

In many cases, yes. We try to recommend sites that accept Norway’s currency. Not all sites do, however. Even if a site doesn’t accept Kroner deposits, online payment services will allow you to easily convert funds to an accepted currency (GBP, USD, EURO) for a small fee.

Yes. We test out every online casino on our top list by trying it on mobile and desktop. We take player experience into account as a major facet of our research, and we only recommend the sites with the best experience across all devices.

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