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Anti Online Gambling Legislation in Norway?

While most countries around the world adopt a liberalized approach to online gambling – leaving the United States aside, of course – Norway is taking a less favorable approach. Recent reports on Norwegian media indicate that amendments to the Norwegian law will put payment processors under gambling laws, in an act similar to the one made by the US. The Minister of Culture and Church, Trond Griske, is pressing for such legislation to pass and the online gambling industry around Europe is following the developments carefully.

If such legislation is in fact accepted, online casino firms will not be able to use payment systems and thus won’t be able to collect online payments from customers. This will result in the online gambling industry stopping its services from being offered to citizens of Norway, again in a resemblance to what occurred in the United States. When there can’t be any profit made, profit-maximizing firms will not operate. It’s quite a simple logic. Although, instead of calling for a Norwegian version of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the Minister is trying to work out an amendment for the existing law and to add a clarification to it – making it include payment systems as well.

The justification for such legislation will probably deal with problematic gamblers. It’s strange so see a government trying to promote anti online gambling laws when its gambling market is dominated by a monopoly. Currently, the European Union is pressing all of its members to respect the European Commission and work to establish a free-market zone in Europe. It will be interested to see how the Minister is planning on acting an anti online gambling law and still keep Sweden on the European Commission’s bright side. Will it be possible for foreign European firms to use foreign European financial firms and still offer gambling to Norway’s gamblers?

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.