Norway’s New Gambling Regulations Now Submitted for EC Review

Norway’s Ministry of Culture submitted on Monday a recently introduced a set of online gambling-focused regulations to the European Commission. The Commission will now have three months to review and reject or approve the measures.

The Norwegian supreme legislature, the Storting, will not be able to implement the changes in the country’s gambling regulation regime during that three-month standstill period, set to end on September 5, 2018. If the Commission does not explicitly reject the proposed new rules or if it does not provide any comments on these, they would be ready to be adopted immediately after the end of the standstill.

As previously reported by Casino News Daily, the set of measures aims to prevent unlicensed online gambling operators from targeting Norwegian customers by blocking payment transfers for remote gambling purposes, and to protect the monopoly system under which gambling services are provided in the Scandinavian country.

The rules were crafted by a group of four Norwegian parties and were introduced to the Storting in April. The legislature then approved those in early May.

Generally speaking, the new legislation, which has now been referred to be reviewed by the European Commission, provides clarifications and regulations that obligate banks and other financial institutions to block all transactions to and from unauthorized gambling companies.

Here it is important to note that gambling services in Norway are provided by two state-run entities – Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto and there is no licensing system that allows foreign operators to obtain licenses and operate in the country’s regulated market.

A Quick Glance at the New Rules

Under the new rules, banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions should discontinue payments to and from Norway-based customers to online gambling websites as well as any other transactions related in any way to unauthorized gambling.

In addition, the set of measures gives the Norwegian Gaming Authority the power to decide whether transactions carried out on behalf of gambling companies should, too, be blocked. The country’s gambling regulator will see its powers extended in one more way. Under the newly approved regulations, banks and other financial institutions will be required to disclose to the regulator details about customers that might be engaging in unregulated gambling activities. Information about account numbers and any gambling-related transactions will thus be available to the Gaming Authority as part of Norway’s latest regulatory overhaul.

The new measures represent reinforcement of the Norwegian Payment Blocking Regulation. The regulation was introduced by the Gaming Authority back in 2010 and had the exact same goal – to prevent gambling-related transactions to and from unauthorized companies.

Earlier this year, Norway’s gambling regulator was blasted by the European Gaming and Betting Association for breaching privacy rules by obtaining confidential information about Norwegian citizens who had supposedly gambled on unauthorized websites.

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