Norway approves gambling ad block

Norway has approved the block on ads from outside the country.
Norway has approved the block on ads from outside the country.

Norway has passed a law that aims to block offshore gambling operators from aiming online ads at Norwegian consumers.

Norway.- The Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, has approved a new legal amendment that grants the country’s media authority Medietilsynet the power to order internet service providers and media companies to block gambling ads aimed at Norwegian consumers from offshore companies.

Norsk Tipping has a monopoly on gambling in Norway and is the only operator allowed to offer online gambling. Other companies were already prohibited from advertising in Norway but until now have circumvented the ban by publishing ads on website or satellite television channels based outside of the country.

Abid Q. Raja, Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, said: “This will reduce the scope of gambling advertising, and may in turn help reduce the number of problem gamblers.

“[Until now] we have not had the necessary tools to enforce the advertising ban on foreign operators. But with this provision, the Media Authority is empowered to impose a duty on internet owners and distributors to prevent access to advertising for illegal gambling.”

Stortinget this month also approved a provision aimed at blocking television ads from offshore gambling companies by finally closing a loophole in Norway’s Broadcasting Act. The amendment allows the Medietilsynet to order domestic television channels to stop showing ads from offshore operators.

The Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming, Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill (NBO), which represents offshore operators in the country, has criticised the advertising controls and called for more a liberal regulatory model and the opening of the monopoly in the country.

Norway last year intensified a block on payments to offshore gambling companies.

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