According to online gambling news in Norway, two years has passed since a Norwegian study on problem gambling shocked the country with its results, and scientists are still at a loss for words to explain the meaning behind the numbers.
Norwegian gambling laws have the dubious distinction of being the most restrictive out of all the Scandinavian countries. In 2007, the weak progressive liberal government caved in to the demands of the powerful Muslim immigrant lobby to curtail all forms of gambling.
As a compromise, sever restrictions were enacted including curtailing of all forms of online casinos in Norway outside the state controlled monopoly.
Norwegian casinos were forced to implement pre-commitment technology on all video poker and slot machines, quite similar to a plan which is currently being forced down the throats of Australian punters.
At the time of the introduction of these draconian measures on the clueless Norwegian population, the Norwegian gaming manufacturer Norsk Tipping commissioned global market research group Synovate to study problem gambling in 2007 and again in three years later.
Synovate conducted a scientific study of 3000 gamblers and determined that 1.3% of the sample were problem gamblers based on a predetermined set of criteria.
In 2010, 3 years later, when the same study was repeated, expectations were high that restrictive laws do indeed curtail problem gambling. To everybody’s surprise, the same study revealed that the number of problem gamblers nearly doubled to 2.1%.
Norsk Tipping, frightened out of their minds that the government will try implementing even stricter anti-gambling measures, quickly stated that a 78% increase is within the margin of error and in fact the number of problem gamblers decreased from 1.3% to 2.1%
Norway, along with Russia, Israel, Australia and United States refuse to accept the undisputed fact that prohibition has always resulted in the increased use of the prohibited item, whether it be alcohol, prostitution, drugs or gambling.
As a philosopher said long ago – ‘the forbidden fruit always tastes better.’