Norway has some of the strictest gambling regulations (online and offline) in the world, and the country’s government has a monopoly on gambling with two state-controlled bodies including Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Today, Norwegian citizens can gamble on the horses through Norsk Rikstoto and on lotteries, scratchcards, keno, poker and sports betting through Norsk Tipping, but most other forms of gambling remain illegal. Although citizens don’t have access to a Norwegian online casino that operates from within the country’s borders, many players simply gamble at online casinos (although it’s illegal) that are owned by foreign operators and that are licensed & regulated offshore.
Gambling History in Norway
Traditionally, most forms of gambling in Norway have always been frowned upon, but in more modern times the country has witnessed a boom in both online and offline gambling activities. There was an increase in the number of slot machines at land-based establishments back in the 90s, and they could be found in a variety of places. However, in 2004 the Norwegian government decided to limit the number of slot machines, and this eventually led to the outright banning of them shortly after that.
These machines were replaced in 2008 by MultiX slots video terminals and they could now monitor individual players by recording their losses & wins. These machines cannot be played on without an account or access card that is linked to the player’s bank account. It was an attempt to try and prevent gambling problems from developing. Norway also tried to stop online gambling at foreign gambling sites by introducing the Payment Act in 2010.
This new legislation meant that banks could not let their customers use their debit or credits cards to purchase credits at any land-based or online casinos outside of Norwegian borders. However, players have found ways around the law and continue to gamble at foreign-owned websites. Although it’s illegal to do so, the Norwegian government doesn’t actively go after the players for gambling at these websites.
Norway Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
The strictly controlled Norwegian Gambling legislation is nothing more than a state monopoly that gives two government-owned companies the exclusive rights to offer real money gambling services both online and offline. This all falls under the Gaming Scheme Act and the Totalisator Act, and this is why it’s one of the most inhospitable environments for foreign operators to try and get a foothold in. Norsk Tipping (which first went online in 2002) is owned by the Ministry of Culture and Norsk Rikstoto (est. 1982) is an independent foundation that was set up by the Norwegian Trotting Association and the Norwegian Jockey Club.
Despite the fact that it’s illegal to play at foreign-owned websites that operate from outside of Norway’s borders since 2008 and also because of the 2010 Payment Act, many players have still managed to find loopholes in the law simply by using other payment methods that have emerged over the years. This has allowed them to continue gambling in the real money mode at these websites. The owners of these gambling sites also cannot be prosecuted because they do not fall under Norwegian jurisdiction. Although players have never been prosecuted for gambling at foreign-owned gambling sites, it doesn’t mean to say that you can’t be prosecuted.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Norway
The main benefits to players from Norway are that their government still doesn’t block foreign gambling sites from targeting their business towards its citizens, even though the technology exists and even though they have such strict online & offline gambling policies in place. Therefore players can still gamble at hundreds of fully licensed online casinos in the real money mode rather than being limited to the selection that’s currently offered to them from their state-controlled organizations.
Better still, most of these foreign controlled online gambling sites accept Norwegian Krone (NOK) and players living in Norway now have access to a wide range of perfectly secure online payment options at these websites. These reliable payment options allow them to freely deposit and withdraw as and when they please and they are generally free to use, although some minor charges may be incurred, depending on where you are playing.
Today’s best Norwegian online casinos are free to sign up to, they are powered by numerous leading online casino software providers, and you can play at these casinos either on desktop or on mobile. There are lots of bonuses and promotions to look forward to, and you can play to win some of the biggest online jackpots at these casinos, plus they tend to provide 24-hour, toll-free player support.
FAQ Useful to Players from Norway
Am I breaking the law by playing at online casinos that are controlled by foreign operators and operate from outside of Norway?
It is illegal to play at these websites, but no player in Norway has ever been prosecuted, and thousands of players continue to gamble at these websites without fear of being locked up.
How can I deposit and withdraw at foreign-owned gambling sites?
If you head to the cashier section you can find a wide range of suitable and perfectly reliable online payment options including e-wallets, prepaid cards and various other methods that allow Norwegians to deposit and withdraw at online casinos.
Can I play in my only local currency of Norwegian Krone?
Yes. Most online casinos today that accept real cash wagers from Norwegian players also accept NOK.
Are these online casinos safe and is there anything I should be concerned about?
The trusted owners of these websites employ high levels of online security measures known as 256-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology to prevent fraudulent activity, and therefore both your personal details and your bankroll are always in safe hands.
Do I have to pay tax when I win from gambling online?
Unfortunately yes. Norwegian law states that even gambling winnings earned overseas must be declared as they are also subject to tax.
Online Gambling Highlights in Norway
- Players in Norway currently have access to hundreds of the world’s best and most secure online casinos
- These casinos are often packed with hundreds of games from some of the world’s most advanced online casino software providers
- The daily jackpots that you can play to win at these casinos often climb to well above NOK10,000,000
- The Norwegian language is now supported almost every top-rated Norwegian friendly online casino
- You can deposit and withdraw at these casinos using a wide range of perfectly secure and extremely popular Norwegian online payment options
- In addition to the guaranteed new player welcome bonus that you are entitled to you can also look forward to lots more ongoing bonus offers and promotions
- The casinos are licensed by major authorities, and they are owned & operated by some of the most trusted names from the online and offline gambling industries
- The casinos are free to sign up to, and you can count on professionally trained, toll-free player support 24-hours per day
Problem Gambling Help in Norway
Several non-profit organizations in Norway help people with gambling problems. Gamblers Anonymous Norway is also active in the country. This is a trusted fellowship of men and women who come together to share their experiences and give each other strength and hope to overcome and recover from their addictions.
Gambling Therapy also has a problem gambling helpline for Norwegians, and there are plenty of other websites out there today with support lines, self-help guides, forums & chat rooms and professionally trained counsellors that can listen to your problems and offer free & impartial advice. There’s also GamCare, Gamble Aware and numerous other trusted global problem gambling organizations that Norwegians can turn to in the UK and other countries.