Norway considers changing horse racing monopoly owner

The Norwegian government will consider which company is more fit for the exclusive rights model.
The Norwegian government will consider which company is more fit for the exclusive rights model.

The government of Norway is considering granting the responsibility of organising horse racing in the country to Norsk Tipping.

Norway.- Norsk Tipping, the state-owned gambling company, could soon assume responsibility for the horse racing monopoly in Norway. The rights of the activity are currently under Norsk Rikstoto, but they expire at the end of 2021.

The Norwegian government will consider which company is more fit for the exclusive rights model. The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food will assess which company should be in charge of the horse racing monopoly.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad sad: “The government’s gambling policy must first and foremost take into account the social responsibility and consideration of gambling addicts. At the same time, it is important for the government to ensure that the future solution is for the best for Norwegian equestrian sport.”

The government also said that the deadline for introducing game limits has been postponed pending the decision on who will be in charge of horse racing in the future. The debate has increased in the last few months, and some said that a stake limit of €1.9k should be introduced. However, this figure could end up hurting turnover, which subsidies the horse industry in Norway. Such a limit could end up in a reduction of €90 million for the industry.

Det Norske Travelskap leader Knut Weum said: “If the decline in turnover is as Rikstoto has analysed and stipulated, we will be bankrupt shortly.”

Lottery Authority’s stance

The authority has supported the proposal, but it has made it clear that no exceptions should be made for the big players, even those that subsidise the industry. “We are committed to preventing negative social consequences of gambling. An important argument for total limits is the consideration of family and relatives of those who have a problematic relationship with games. We do not see that there is good enough documentation that the group (the main players) does not have a problematic game pattern,” said department director Henrik Nordal in the Lottery and Foundation Authority of NTB recently.

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Norway regulation