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LeoVegas Throws Its Hat in the Ring for Norwegian Reform

by Glenn Baird - August 31, 2020

LeoVegas is the latest operator in Norway to join the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming (Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill/NBO, a body that has set its sights on reforming the regulatory structures in the country.

The NBO was formed a year and a half ago and now that LeoVegas has joined it now has 5 members, including Betsson Group, ComeOn, Kindred Group and Gaming Innovation Group (GiG).

LeoVegas communications director Hans Uhrus has said that he has been very impressed with the work that NBO has already carried out, stating that he is particularly struck by the way in which the NBO has worked to establish itself as “a serious association with weight in the gaming debate.”

“We are impressed with the work that has been done, and will now joint the association to strengthen this importance alliance,” Uhrus said.

“By standing together against the monopoly policy, we can hopefully work out a solution that can address the need for a new and modern gaming policy.”

NBO wants to see the current system, which gives Norsk Rikstoto (horse race betting) and Norsk Tipping (lottery, sports betting and casino) the exclusive right to organise gambling in Norway, disbanded in favour of a system which individual licences to operators.

Those who oppose the current system in Norway argue that customers in the country have been targeted by offshore operators, the result of which means that less revenue makes its way into the country.

Norwegian regulator Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) commissioned the University of Bergen suggested that there are roughly 55,000 people in Norway who suffer from gambling related problems. This is an increase of around 16,000 from the previous survey that was commissioned back in 2015.

“In a modern world with access to games from all over the world, it is much better for everyone to create a Norwegian licensing system that regulates and controls all the players – not just Norsk Tipping and Rikstoto,” Stenstrøm explained.

Despite the resistance to the current model it is unlikely that the desired changes will see the light of day, especially after the recent reforms made to the country’s Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalisator Act.

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.

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