Norway submits plans to block gambling sites

Norway had promised to step up action against offshore operators.
Norway had promised to step up action against offshore operators.

The country has submitted its plans for the DNS-blocking of gambling sites to the European Commission (EC).

Norway.- The government has sent its plans for the DNS-blocking of gambling sites targeting the Norwegian market to the European Commission (EC). The plans propose an amendment to be included in Norway’s new Gambling Act, which unified previously separate legislation.

Norway continues to enforce a dual monopoly on its licensed gambling market, run by the state-controlled Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, and has promised tougher action on offshore operators.

The government now intends to give the Norwegian gambling regulator Lottstift the power to order internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to sites run by offshore operators that are not licensed.

The regulator would be able to issues orders when it can prove that the website offers gambling without a licence and that it aims its offer at Norwegians. It’s a step up from the government’s original plan to order ISPs to merely notify users that a site was unlicensed.

It will need to decide in each case whether such an order is proportional considering the interests of the ISP, the website’s owner and freedom of information and expression. It must make attempts to contact the operator before making an order.

The regulator will be allowed to decide what form to give to the landing page announcing that a site has been blocked.

See also: Norwegian gaming regulator orders BML Group to leave market

Minister of culture Abid Raja said: “These companies do what they can to circumvent Norwegian law. With blocking, we will be able to gag them. We will go as far as possible to get rid of these companies. We do not want DNS blocking, but we do not want the gambling problems these companies bring to the country.”

See also: Norwegian court backs Norsk Tipping gaming monopoly

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