The Minister of Culture and Gender Equality announced the funding for the government’s action plan.
Norway.- The government has announced NOK15m in new funding for its action plan against gambling problems.
Announced by Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, Abid Q. Raja, the money will be used to fund research, public information, prevention and treatment of gambling problems.
Raja said: “For most people, gambling is a pleasant recreation and many Norwegians enjoy playing. But for some people, gambling has become a serious problem. That is why we work continuously with measures that ensure that gambling policy is based on accountability.”
Norway has one of the most closed gaming markets in Europe, with state-owned monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto the only operators on the regulated market. However, despite such control, studies have noted a significant increase in problem gambling in the country.
Raja said: “I am proud that we in Norway have a gambling policy that puts responsibility first. Therefore, it is not permitted for foreign companies to offer gambling in Norway or to direct these offers to the Norwegian market via the internet.
“These companies are not subject to the same strict liability measures as Norsk Tipping and benefit from the fact that many of their customers lose far more than they can afford. This is not how we want it to be in Norway.”
The government action plan has three main objectives: to achieve as low a level as possible of problem gambling, to share knowledge about games and gambling problems and to achieve early identification and good treatment of players who suffer from gambling-related harm.
The Norwegian Association for Online Gaming (Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill) has criticised the country’s continuation of the existing gambling monopolies in new legislation presented to the European Commission this year.