Gambling Legislation

Norway has new legislation to block online casinos

Norway has new legislation to block online casinos

Norway wants its ISPs to use DNS blocks to protect its online gambling monopoly

The government of Norway has introduced legislation to block unlicensed websites offering online gambling. In this most recent attempt to maintain the government monopoly on gaming, the law would require internet providers to introduce technology preventing users from accessing illegal sites using the domain name system (DNS). This means that users trying to access a blocked site will be redirected to a landing page with information about why entry to the site is prohibited.

The Ministry of Culture and Equality introduced the amendment to the Gambling Act on October 20, which the cabinet approved the same day. Norwegian leaders began consulting about DNS blocking of unlicensed sites over two years ago.

“We do this primarily to prevent and limit gambling problems and to look after vulnerable players and their relatives,” said Lubna Jaffery, Minister for Culture and Equality. “If the foreign gambling companies had followed Norwegian law, this would not have been imposed on the internet providers. Therefore, we have to regulate this by targeting actors over whom we have jurisdiction.”

The director of Lotteritilsynet, Henrik Nordal, backed the possibility of DNS blocking for unregulated sites earlier this year. “DNS blocking makes the riskiest gambling games less available and thus protects Norwegian players,” he said. “It also means that many people are not aware of the risk of playing with the illegal gambling companies.”

Online gaming options are limited in Norway, one of the few European governments monopolizing gambling. Lottery Norsk Tipping operates all sports betting and online casinos, while Norsk Rikstoto controls horse racing.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has recently suggested that Norway follow the lead of countries like Finland and Sweden and change to a licensing system to help avoid issues like citizens gambling with unlicensed online providers.

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