Norway’s government is planning to block the foreign websites that offer gambling products targeting the Norwegian market.
The call to block such sites is being led by Minister of Culture Abid Raja, who is using his last days in government to announce the proposal. Companies such as Betsson, Unibet and ComeOn would all be impacted by the potential block.
Worryingly for these companies, and indeed many others, the proposal looks likely to have parliamentary support, having been expected for several years now. A majority in Storting (the Norwegian parliament) supported the proposal in 2018.
Raja’s recent calls for a block on gambling sites come in a bid to strengthen the Norwegian gambling monopoly, as well as push more players to Norsk Tipping, the national lottery in Norway. However, the Minister of Culture also believes the websites are circumventing the laws within the country, and are doing very little to protect problem gamblers.
“These companies do what they can to circumvent Norwegian law. With blocking, we will be able to stop them. We will go as far as possible to get rid of these companies,” Raja said.
Rolf Sims, Kindred Group (Unibet) PR Manager in Norway, said the company would like to read the proposal in its entirety before commenting on the situation.