Norway warn Offshore Operators

October 13, 2014 |

Online gaming operators have been targeted by Norway’s gaming regulator for illegally marketing their services to Norwegian customers. The world’s most popular social network site, Facebook recently actioned the complaint they received from Lotteritilsynet, the Norwegian Gaming Authority, by removing pages, which was associated with illegal online gaming operators offering services to Norwegian customers. Facebook had 20 pages of unlicensed gaming operators marketing in Norway, submitted to remove. YouTube have also been requested to remove illegal gaming content.

The Head of Gambling at the Norwegian regulator, Linda Vollestad Westbye said that Facebook’s compliance was very positive with the Norwegian gaming law. Warning letters has been send by Lotteritilsynet to foreign “illegal” gaming operators requesting them to eliminate targeting the Norwegian consumers and reminding them of Norway’s gambling laws.

Alte Hamar, the Director of Lotteritilsynet said some of the companies stated publicly that they have been operating in accordance to the Norwegian law and that the statement was incorrect. The problem is expanding more than ever before and Hamar shared that foreign online gaming companies are increasingly focussing on Norwegian ambassadors and spokespersons to target the Norwegian market and that these individuals are contributing to the marketing of the illegal services. Hamar stated that the letter was send to 20 online gaming operators, “In the letters, we make it clear that it may be appropriate to respond directly to these persons unless the illegal marketing lapses”

This follows the consideration by Norway to open the gaming laws to allow competition although currently the 2 state-owned legal allowed monopolies runs the show. A continuation of services are offered by offshore gaming operators despite the legality that might be questionable, hundreds of millions could potentially have been taxed if the regulation was reformed. Hamar said the problem is recognised and that the Gamin Board recorded a recent increase in the marketing demand from some of the companies.

The country’s Ministry of Culture has asked allowance of poker home games and national poker events within the country’s borders, which might loosen up the regulations for live poker games.

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