Norway extends online-only bingo window to 13 April

30 March 2020

Norway’s gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) has announced that bingo hall operators will be able to offer their games online with no accompanying land-based draw until 13 April.

The requirement stating online bingo could only be offered when attached to a game taking place in a physical venue was first suspended on 16 March, and was originally to be lifted until 29 March. The measure is designed to help bingo halls survive the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As part of this relaxation of regulations, in-person registration requirements for online bingo was suspended, with players able to sign up using the BankID electronic verification solution.

These new sign-ups will be expected to register in person once the crisis has passed, and social distancing measures are no longer in place, or have their accounts deleted.

Games may only be played between 10AM and 10PM, with each provider only permitted to offer one game at a time.

Lotteritilsynet has also introduced new marketing restrictions for the extended online-only window. The games may not be marketed directly to individuals, such as through SMS or email campaigns, and operators are prohibited from offering any sort of bonus promotions in their marketing.

The regulator added that it would consider extending the online-only window further, based on the situation regarding Covid-19 and on government advice.

In related news, Lotteritilsynet has postponed the payment of funds generated through bingo games to social and charitable causes for the first quarter of 2020.

Regulations currently state that bingo hall operators must pay social contributions within two weeks of the quarter’s end, but as a result of the pandemic, this has been pushed back.