The Gambling Situation In Norway

Norway is one of the few countries still operating a state-owned Monopoly in gambling. All gambling in Norway is supposed to be done either through Norsk Rikstoto or Norsk Tipping. The former provides horse racing wagering options, while the latter is for lotteries and sports betting.

As with almost all Monopoly, the two state-owned gambling platforms are known for giving poor betting experiences, unreasonable odds when compared to their offshore counterparts. This is to be expected as the lack of competition means they can operate anyhow they deem fit and still have a number of Norwegians patronizing them.

Even with the laws and Monopoly of gambling in Norway, the EGBA (European Gaming and betting association) has reported that over 66% of Norwegian gamblers patronize foreign online gambling platforms.

The Reason for the Restriction

Gambling in Norway was very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Electronic games were the game of choice then. According to the Norwegian government, this led to an upsurge in gambling addiction in the country, especially among the young population, and the solution they proffered was to formulate a gambling Monopoly.

Only two state-sanctioned companies, Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping were allowed to run gambling activities in Norway. One of the main ideas behind the state-sanctioned Monopoly was to ensure that money gotten from gambling is used to improve other sectors within the country.

Another reason for the government’s strict outlook on betting was because of its effect on people, especially the young population. A recent documentary shows how gambling and gambling companies have negatively affected the youths exposing them to delinquency and crime.

The gambling addiction excuse given by the government makes zero sense as the rate of gambling addiction in Norway is still very high despite the restriction. In 2015, a survey discovered that over 55,000 Norwegians were suffering from gambling addiction and an upward of 122,000 were in grave danger of falling into it.

And also, due to the absence of proper regulations, Norway loses about 2.2 billion NOK every year because they have lost the online betting market in their own country.

Legal History of Gambling in Norway

The first law regarding gambling in Norway was promulgated in 1927. It was called the totalisator act of 1927. This act made horse racing Betting legal in Norway and gave Norsk Rikstoto the sole power to conduct any horse racing gambling across Norway. Until today, Norsk Riksoto is the only legal horse racing betting platform in the country.

Another regulation was formulated in 1992. It was termed the “1992 gaming act”. This act made sports betting, lottery, poker, and other games of luck legal in Norway and made Norsk Tipping the only legal company to carry out those functions.

The gambling regulations in Norway, when compared to Denmark, can be described as archaic and ineffective as most of the laws go through little to zero enforcement. For example, in 2008, Norway outlawed foreign gambling sites. But today, many Norwegians bet on foreign sites on a daily basis, without any troubles.

In Reality

There isn’t a strict ban on online gambling as Norwegian offshore gambling platforms, and other foreign platforms regularly offer their services to Norwegians and receive high patronage. In reality, the gambling regulations are ineffective and unenforced.

Today, there are a number of online casinos available in Norway. And lucky for locals, a prominent affiliate,, provides comprehensive reviews on reliable online casinos available to Norwegians.

In reality, the restrictions on gambling have also made Norway lose control of the online betting space in their own country. EGBA reports that over 66% of the online gambling done in Norway is done with Norwegian offshore companies or foreign platforms. In numbers, this leads to a 2.2 billion NOK loss in additional revenue yearly.

Going Forward

Gambling is too profitable a venture to be left in the hands of foreigners and offshore companies in your own country. For instance, in 2021 alone, the state of Nevada in the USA realized 13.4billion dollars from gambling alone. This money should be enough to finance the sports sector of Norway for a whole year.

Denmark used to operate a state monopolized gambling market like Norway, but that has been changed. Right now, they enjoy huge revenues from gambling platforms whilst strictly regulating the actions of its gambling platforms.

EGBA advises that Norway should employ a multi-licensing system as practised in Sweden and Denmark. And the regulations that go with the licensing should be strictly enforced as is done in the aforementioned countries.


The main reason given for the restriction is “to reduce gambling addiction”. Meanwhile, the restriction has not achieved this goal. Denmark has a self-exclusion facility where people ban themselves from gambling activities and they are aided by the authorities, which has reduced gambling addiction by a great number there.

The Norwegian government should try to mirror great gambling models in Europe like Denmark and Sweden in terms of multi-licensing and strict enforcement of regulations. Only then will they reap the full benefit of online gambling whilst achieving their goal of minimal addiction among citizens.|


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