Norway targets ban on foreign betting advertisers

14 December 2017

Norway’s government wants to close a loophole that allows foreign gambling operators to advertise on television.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Culture, foreign gambling providers average 62 commercials per hour aimed at Norwegian consumers, despite only Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto being allowed to advertise money games.

Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland alleges that channels TV3, Viasat4, Max and Eurosport Norway, which are broadcast from overseas, circumvent the Norwegian ban on advertising for foreign gambling companies.

Helleland believes that a bill should be presented to Parliament before Easter next year so that Parliament can handle the case before the summer.

“With the current regulations, we can hit a part of the market, but those we hit can also adapt so that they will fall outside the scope of the Act,” said Helleland.

The Norwegian Media Authority estimates that foreign gambling companies spent $866m (€644m) on marketing targeting Norwegian consumers.

The plans were welcomed by Actis – Rusfelt, a body that represents organisations working to help those with addictions. It believes a ban would help 120,000 problem gamblers in Norway and protect children.

“It is very gratifying that the government now wants to ensure that foreign gambling companies can not continue to bypass Norwegian law and send illegal advertising on Norwegian television screens,” said Pernille Huseby, the acting secretary general of Actis – Rusfelt.

Related article: Sportradar backs sports integrity push in Norway