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Norwegian Minister Seeks Online Gambling Enforcement

While Norwegian poker players are doing mighty well in the world of international poker, the Norwegian Culture Minister made it clear that online gambling isn’t something that he supports. Annette Obrestad has captured the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, but that doesn’t matter for Culture Minister Giske. Norwegian players might find themselves without online gambling in the very near future. Although online casino gambling is already illegal in Norway, the ban isn’t enforced and people are playing without any real problems or implications.

The Culture Minister is known for his passion for banning the gambling industry. Last year, he ran a campaign to ban the use of slot machines throughout the country with limited success. Slot machines are still legal in Norway but they are less aggressive than before. In this case, online gambling is already illegal and getting the country’s institutions to enforce the law will be easier, sadly. The new proposed bill will act in a similar way to the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Act that had passed in the United States last October; Norwegian IP addresses will be blocked from accessing online gambling sites and there will be no transactions between banks and online casino operators. In this way, both the players will be kept away from the sites and the site owners won’t be able to process their profits and therefore cease their operations.

When looking at the rest of Europe, Scandinavia is showing the most sporadic poker regulation in the continent. Denmark ruled that poker is a game of skill earlier this year, while Sweden’s government came down on illegal poker activities. This should be very confusing for both players and online gambling firms that are considering their business model for Europe. It is nice to see that despite this irregular legislation, Scandinavian players have managed to become amongst the best poker players in the world.

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.

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