Published on 1 November 2014 by Sebas
In part 1 of our ‘case study’ of the ‘regulatory behavior’ of Norway, we reported about no less than 15 Netent Casinos (under which reputed Netent casino game providers such as ComeOn!, Unibet, Nordicbet and Vera and John Casino) that were ‘indicted’ last week by means of a letter from the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority. In the letter the regulating institution accuses the casinos of ‘violating’ the Norwegian rules, regulations and ‘prohibition’ by offering lotteries and games of chance to Norwegians… without a permit.
No more Netent Games for Norway?
Are the Netent games now forever banned and taboo for this specific group of ‘Viking descendants’ within the Scandinavian community, of which its members normally love the casino gaming products from the Swedish / Maltese based company Netent?
No more Netentcasino.com for Norway?
And are we for that matter, as Netentcasino.com also risking the ‘fury’ of the Norwegian Gaming Authority (although we haven’t received any warning letter from any authority whatsoever… yet)?
After all, we also passionately ‘promote’ Netent casino games (a bit like the warned Norwegian celebrities), and we also ‘target’ Norwegian casino players, just as we ‘target’ any other (Netent) casino player anywhere around the world to provide him or her with our exclusive Netent information.
The answer to both slightly by fear induced (but understandable) questions however is: no, not at all…
What the Norwegian Authority has done is nothing more than ‘urging’ (or better ‘asking’, or even ‘begging’) the ‘outlawed’ online casinos to ‘better their manners’ and comply to the Norwegian ‘regulations’. The Norwegian authority has issued a list of 9 ‘conditions’ and better not a single one of these conditions can be detected by the Authority’s ‘Casino Conditions Control Crew’ in your online casino, or else…, or else…
…or else your casino will never be granted a permit in a regulated Norwegian iGaming market.
Because believe it or not, although the Authority seems to be coming down hard on the Netent Casinos and its representatives, Norway is actually looking to liberalize its policy towards online gaming, that up to now consisted of a state protected (and by Norsk Tipping monopolized) market, and stringent (almost fanatic) maintained prohibition.
Liberalization of the iGaming market
The Norwegian government recently has requested an ‘impact assessment’ to be carried out, to find out what the consequences would be if Norway went from strict prohibition (as is applied towards online gambling at this moment) to a completely open gambling market, on which also foreign providers can act freely and legally licensed. And even more recent the responsible Norwegian Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widvey, stated she hopes to have regulations implemented in 2015 to finally be able to, in the same year, host the Norwegian Poker Championship in Norway (as formerly this ‘national’ Norwegian poker-event had to be held outside of Norway, because of the country’s own stringent gambling laws).
So although the proud providers of famous and widely appreciated Net Entertainment products such as video slot Starburst, the Netent roulette and black jack games and the Netent Touch mobile games at this moment indeed are infringing on Norwegian law, possibly very soon they´ll become completely regulated, legalized and licensed Norwegian Netent Casinos.
But there’s still a lot more to learn from Norway’s current process towards regulation, about which you can read in the third and last part of this case-study.