Norway and Gambling: Don’t See Eye-to-Eye
Gambling is perceived differently in different countries. Some have rigid laws to govern the same, while others deem it totally illegal. Well, there are liberalists as well: Finland. For the most part, Norwegian laws decree gambling as illegal. While the government is planning on new gambling legislation, online casinos in Norway are to this day controlled by the two monopoly operators, Norsk Rikstoto (established in 1982) and Norsk Tipping (established in 1947), both state-backed. The former provides a license to betting on horse racing, while the latter offers games such as sports betting, Keno, and lotteries, among others.
The Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) regulates and monitors all forms of gambling activities in the country, such as online gambling, horse race betting, raffles, slot machines, sports betting, and lotteries. The Norwegian government introduced three different acts to regulate the country’s gambling market: the Totalisator Act of 1927, the Gaming Act of 1992, and the Lottery Act of 1995. As per Norway’s current gambling regulations, it is illegal for gamblers to bet at international online casinos.
Is The Block Any Good?
On February 19, 2019, the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) announced that the Norwegian government had blocked all payments to and from bank accounts that are found to be used to process online gambling reactions. The EGBA, highly critical of this new online casino regulatory regime, opined it as highly unsustainable. The NGA ordered all of the country’s banks to put the plug on all transactions to and from accounts used by operators for e-gambling-related purposes.
This move comes as a part of the Norwegian government’s efforts to secure the national Internet gaming landscape from unregulated international operations. To this day, Norway has not allowed foreign online casinos to operate in the country. The EGBA was of the opinion that the Scandinavian country should focus on drafting a regulatory framework that would align with today’s evolving online gambling market since the more restricted the gamblers are, the more their urge to play at unregulated casino sites that in turn would jeopardize the local gambling market.
One Too Many Restrictions Do No Good
What do too many restrictions do?
- Stagnate the online gambling market by restricting player choice
- Players tend to access foreign casino sites that neither follow Norwegian laws nor pay taxes to the county’s government
- Playing at international gambling sites would greatly reduce the tax revenues for the state
Pointers for Norway and How BTC Can Help
Norway could consider introducing a multi-licensing system that would offer a wide array of online casino games to consumers making the local gambling space attractive. Given Norway’s current too-restricted e-gambling market, the BTC could become a great option for online casinos to adopt. How does BTC help?
- Not directly linked to any bank account, so no payment blocking
- Not central controlled so no government or banking regulation
- Does not stagnate online gambling since it is in constant circulation
- Deposits and withdrawals are instantaneous, unlike other traditional payment methods that take a while to settle. Both activities can be completed by the BTC payment method.
Bitcoins are no strangers to the online casinos and are the top-rated cryptocurrency in the online gambling industry today. Casino sites now rely more on BTCs as an efficient and quick method of payment. Since 2014, around $4.5 billion in BTCs has been wagered.
The Top Five Online Casinos Worth A Try
There are quite a few, but these offer some good play.
- A game built around BTC cash
- Offers $1,000 in BTC bonuses to slot players
- Offers a welcome bonus of up to 5 bitcoins
- Serves up around 2,000 games and allows players to cash out within 10 minutes
- Accepts all types of cryptos
- Supports anonymous accounts (only username required)
- Accepts even less-fancied cryptos such as XVG and BTG
- Offers extensive esports and sportsbook sections
- Deposits with BTC get bonuses up to $9,000
- Also accepts ETH and the rare, XRP
- Offers a combination of slots, video poker, table games, live casino, and blackjacks.
The Gambling Wave
For experiencing casinos and good gaming-related entertainment, here is the Casinoer’s list of Norwegian casinos accepting Bitcoin. Don’t forget to check them out. Gambling is a consumer-driven market, something which the Norwegian government has to understand much deeper than it has. The current global online gambling industry is estimated to value around $46 billion and is expected to double, i.e., $96 billion by 2024. This plus BTCs, provided if structured and regulated properly, could be the next big wave in the gambling industry.