Norway to assign more funds to tackle gambling harm

Norway will assign more funds to tackling gambling harm
Norway will assign more funds to tackling gambling harm

Norway will assign more funds after state-controlled gambling monopoly Norsk Tipping reported a slight rise in revenue for good causes.

Norway. The Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality has announced that it will assign more funds from Norsk Tipping to tackle gambling harm. It comes after the operator, one of Norway’s two monopoly gambling operators, reported it had raised NOK6.29bn (€656m) for good causes in 2021, an increase of 1.9 per cent from 2020.

Of the funds raised by Norsk Tipping in 2021, NOK5.50bn was dealt out via Norway’s fixed distribution formula to fund general social causes. That included NOK3.29bn for sports, NOK926.1m each for culture and charities and NOK351.8m for health. Aside from that, NOK737m went to grassroots initiatives and NOK36m in bingo profits were given to good causes as part of the requirements for all bingo operators in Norway.

Finally, NOK17m was assigned to an action plan to tackle gambling addiction. The Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality has said it will bolster that by a further NOK8m from 2023.

The decision comes after a new survey from the National Competence Centre for Gaming Research claimed that gambling harm was costing Norway NOK5.14bn (€526.2m) a year. The centre says that’s close to half of the annual net revenue from Norway’s monopoly-based regulated gaming market.

The centre made its calculations using a cost-of-disease analysis, dividing expenses into direct costs such as the cost of treatment services, indirect costs such as loss of production and intangible costs such as the emotional impact on the families of problem gamblers.

Minister of culture and gender equality Anette Trettebergstuen said: “Tens of thousands of Norwegians are destroying their own finances and inflicting grave problems on themselves and their families as a result of a difficult relationship with gambling.

“Fortunately, there are organizations and research environments that do an invaluable job in the fight against gambling addiction, but these need increased funding to be able to continue and intensify this work. Therefore, we will increase the level already from 2023, by now putting NOK8m on top of the NOK17m that has been set aside from Norsk Tipping’s profit.”

She added: “I am glad that we in Norway have regulated gambling within an exclusive rights model, which offers gambling in responsible forms to limit and prevent gambling problems. Thus the profits from gambling can also go to sports, culture and volunteering, and not in the pockets of private actors.

“The NOK25m for measures in the action plan against gambling problems go, among other things, to voluntary organisations that work with problematic gambling behaviour, so that they can run help services, run prevention and spread information.”

The Norwegian government has plans for DNS-blocking of unlicensed gambling sites targeting the Norwegian market. However, Kindred Group is standing firm against the threat of fines against its Trannel International subsidiary. Lottstift has warned Trannel International last week that it would be fined NOK 1.2m (€120,000) a day if it didn’t immediately withdraw its online gambling offering in the country.

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