Norway extends Norsk Rikstoto’s exclusive licence for horseracing betting

Norway has stepped up efforts to protect its monopoly system.
Norway has stepped up efforts to protect its monopoly system.

The foundation’s monopoly has been extended for another decade.

Norway.-  Norsk Rikstoto has been granted an extension of its exclusive rights to offer betting on horseracing in Norway. The foundation has had its licence extended for another 10 years until the end of 2032.

Norway has moved to shore up its monopoly system for gambling, in which Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are the only two operators permitted to offer gambling. Norsk Rikstoto was established by the Norwegian Trotting Association and the Norwegian Jockey Club in September 1982 to run a totalizator game named V6.

Norsk Tipping administered most of such games until 1993 when Norsk Rikstoto took over all horseracing offers. It also runs the television channel Rikstoto Direkte. Its profits go towards supporting the Norwegian horseracing industry

Norway believes that the system is necessary to control problem gambling. Minister for culture and equality Anette Trettebergstuen said that Norsk Tipping understood its role and that its goals were aligned with those of the government.

She said: “Norsk Rikstoto shows that they take the role of exclusive rights provider seriously.”

She added that the prevention of addiction remains the main priority in Norwegian gambling, but that funding for sports and good causes was also an important consideration. 

She said: “Many Norwegians struggle with gambling problems, and the most important thing in the gambling policy is to prevent negative gambling. The Norwegian Parliament has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of gambling problems and gambling addiction.

“At the same time, we want to ensure that sports and volunteering can still benefit from the profits from gambling.”

Norway’s monopoly gambling market

As one of the few countries in Europe that still has a monopoly gambling system, Norway has faced legal challenges from international gambling operators. Last month, Lotteritilsynet, the Norwegian gambling regulator, said it would recommence daily fines against Kindred Group’s Trannel subsidiary after finding that the operator was still targeting Norwegian players.

Kindred says that it has changed the language on its sites from Norwegian to English, removed Norwegian flags from all channels and changed the name of Storspiller to a non-Norwegian word. It also stopped all advertising and marketing in Norwegian and stopped offering Norwegian-speaking customer service. But that’s not enough, according to the regulator.

In August, national media regulator Medietilsynet reported that Discovery Europe has complied with Norway’s ban on the broadcast of gambling adverts under its Broadcasting Act. The media company’s local partners had previously fought against the ban, which affects Discovery’s European channels MAX, VOX, FEM and Eurosport

As a result, the regulator ordered the Norwegian TV providers Telia, Telenor, RiksTV and Altibox to cease broadcasting Discovery’s channels by August 15. However, Medietilsynet director Mari Velsand has now said that Discovery had agreed to comply with Norwegian legislation and stop gambling adverts from being shown in the country. It follows Viasat Group, which had already accepted the rules of the Broadcasting Act.

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gambling regulation Norsk Rikstoto