Norway announces latest extension for online bingo

27 April 2020

Online-only bingo games will now be permitted in Norway until 11 May, after the country’s gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) announced yet another extension to the window in which the in-person registration requirement will be suspended.

After the country’s bingo halls were closed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic from 12 March, Lotteritilsynet announced on 16 March that operators would be able to offer games online only.

Previously bingo had to be held in land-based halls, with players able to join games remotely provided they had registered in person beforehand. To help these venues mitigate the impact of the shut-down, the games were moved online, and the in-person registration requirements suspended.

This was originally due to be in force until 29 March, but on that date an extension to 13 April was announced, alongside a set of updated marketing rules. This stated that operators were not able to market the games directly to players, such as through SMS or email campaigns, and bonuses were prohibited.

When 13 April came, the online-only window was then extended to 27 April.

While new players are able to register online using the BankID electronic verification solution, when Norway’s government eases social distancing measures they will be expected to complete in-person registration, or have their accounts shut down.

In other news, the Norwegian police have ended their investigation into multi-level marketing business Lyoness, blaming a lack of resources. Lotteritilsynet reported the company to the police in October last year, having banned it from operating in Norway in 2018.

Lotteritilsynet claimed that Lyoness was effectively a pyramid scheme - something the business vehemently denies - and warned citizens not to invest in its products. The regulator claims Norwegians have lost up to NOK500m (£38.1m/€43.7m/$47.3m) through Lyoness to date.