Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (NBO), simply known as the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming, has requested the national authorities to put an end to the current gambling monopoly, following the results of a new survey that indicates a rise in gambling addiction.
The country’s gambling regulator, the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet), asked the University of Bergen to conduct the aforementioned survey. It includes responses from 9,000 people across Norway between the age of 16 and 74. According to its final results 55,000 people suffer from gambling problems and a further 122,000 are at risk of developing such problems.
Carl Fredrik Stenstrøm, the general secretary of NBO, stated that the Association is concerned regarding the results of the survey and stressed the importance of ending the gambling monopoly which is currently in place in Norway; as this would be the most effective way of protecting all the vulnerable players.
He also said that they already warned the authorities that the exclusive rights model is outdated, since online gamblers do not take into consideration the national boundaries. As a matter of fact, about half of those gamblers use international gambling sites. Therefore, the authorities should regulate the entire market in order to ban all the rogue gambling sites.
Norsk Tipping currently holds the gambling and betting monopoly in the country; however Stenstrøm stated that by allowing more operators to enter the market, would reduce the flow of players on illegal sites. Furthermore, according to him, licensing more Norwegian bookmakers, would mean that the new licensees would be required to abide by strict regulations in terms of responsible gambling. This of course would help lower problem gambling levels.