Norway regulator launches new responsible gambling campaign
Norwegian regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) has rolled out a new responsible gambling campaign to highlight the risks of problem gambling and encourage players to only gamble with licensed operators.
The campaign has been launched after research by the regulator suggested some 34,000 people in Norway suffer from gambling problems, while a further 88,000 are at risk of developing similar issues.
Lotteritilsynet aims to highlight how problem gambling can have serious mental and financial consequences, which can in turn then affect a player’s spouse, partner, children, other relatives and friends.
“If you add everyone around the player who is also affected by the gambling addiction, there are a lot of people; we want to show how brutal and painful gambling addiction is, but also how people can get the best help,” Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet director Gunn Merete Paulsen said.
The campaign will also look to reinforce the message that players should only gamble via an approved operator. Norwegian gaming monopoly Norsk Tipping is currently the only operator permitted to offer gambling online in the country.
In particular, it aims to use responsible gambling controls as a key differentiator. Norsk Tipping sets a limit as to how much players can spend and how long they are able to play, whereas the foreign brands operating in Norway illegally do not offer such safeguards, Paulsen claimed.
“While Norsk Tipping contacts players who are at risk for problems and asks them to play less, foreign gaming companies do the opposite: they contact players and ask them to play more,” Paulsen said.
“Those who have a problem with gambling, or who are at risk of developing one, are also the ones who notice the most about bonuses, betting odds, free games and gifts in gambling advertising. This tool markets the foreign gaming companies on a large scale.”
Paulsen acknowledged market research that showed six out of 10 people in Norway do not know what operators are permitted to offer gambling services in the country. She said that the campaign would help to address this issue.
“It is not strange; foreign gambling companies market their gambling a lot,” she said. “Then it is important for us to reach out with the knowledge that the foreign gambling companies are in fact not allowed to offer and market gambling in Norway.”
Lotteritilsynet will run the responsible gambling adverts on FINN.no, an online marketplace that many Norwegians use to buy and sell products. Paulsen said some of the adverts are placed by people trying to raise money to fund their gamblign habits, but hopes the campaign ads will help deter consumers from doing so.
“Many Norwegians go to FINN.no when to buy or sell, and some of the regular ads that lie there are completely real, but there are some are there to sell a cabin or car because of gambling debts,” Paulsen said.
“We hope the campaign will give some indication of how serious gambling addiction is, and that we are helping to spread knowledge.”