Norway appears to be following the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s stance on online gambling advertising, by taking a tougher stance on where gambling operations can advertise – and what exactly these advertisements are allowed to contain.
Norway’s cultural minister, Linda Hofstad Helleland recently announced that ministers were in talks to introduce new legislation that would see international gambling companies banned from advertising on Nordish TV stations – a move that has divided the industry.
The legislation is expected to come into force early next year, although uncertainty surrounds the exact date that Norway’s Parliament will actually enshrine the rules into law.
Justifying the decision, Helleland said: “Norway’s already restrictive advertising rules only hit a part of the market as operators have learned to adapt their lines of communication to circumvent the restrictions.”
A Justified Change Of Law Or An Overreaction?
While gambling operators have shown dismay over the new rules, one of the biggest media publications in Norway – Norway Today – quoted Pernille Huseby, the secretary-general of ACTIS – an anti-addiction charity – saying that “On average, 62 commercials air every single hour on Norwegian TV channels, including the most-watched and prominent stations, like TV3, Viasat4, Max, and Eurosport Norge.”
The criticism – operators say – lies with the fact that adverts run by operators based in Norway will NOT be outlawed – leading some to question whether the minister has ulterior motives.
As with many things in life, you simply need to ‘follow the money trail’ to find answers – and it’s clear that Norway’s Government fears a drop in gambling taxes, should the adverts be allowed to continue ruining.
According to the Norwegian Media Authority, gambling operators spent a staggering $103.5 Million on advertising in the 12 months ending July 31, 2017 – so it’s clear this will be a near drop in the ocean compared to what the gambling operators are actually making.
Still, some view the changes as positive, with Norwegian-based gambling firms keen to stop ‘outsiders’ from taking away business – i.e. players.
While still in their early days, the plans look set to be put in motion by the Government, although overseas operators may-well bring a legal challenge through the European Union’s Court system – so only time will tell as to whether this new legislation passes, as currently anticipated.