Gambling in Norway
Gambling did not always enjoy widespread popularity in Norway. In the 40s and 50s, even playing simple card games was frowned upon. The practice, although much more prevalent, remains strictly regulated and restricted even today.
There are two state owned companies with exclusive rights to offer gambling to Norwegians. Norsk Tipping covers lotteries, sports betting and instant games, while Norsk Rikstoto handles all the horse race betting.
Slot playing is also popular in the country, but the game was banned in 2007 and reintroduced in the form of interactive video terminals, requiring special cards linked to players’ bank accounts and subject to strict daily and monthly limits. Private ownership of slots was discontinued and Norsk Tipping now owns all IVTs.
Online Gambling in Norway
Online gambling is legal in Norway, but the situation is tricky. Norsk Tipping, the state-run company that controls all lotteries and sports betting in Norway, went online in 2002. It is currently the only internet site where Norwegian players can legally place bets, because as of December 2008, gambling at foreign websites in Norway is illegal.
The ban includes a system similar to the gambling laws in the US – banks in Norway are not allowed to transfer funds between Norwegian accounts and foreign internet gambling sites. Government plans to block foreign ISPs also surface from time to time, but they have not been implemented so far and foreign operators remain accessible to local players.