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The Norwegian Central Bank has questioned the country’s government’s recent decision to place a block on payments to offshore gambling companies. The government’s decision is viewed as yet another episode of the country’s protective policy towards its gambling industry and the existing state monopoly in the industry,
The Norwegian Central Bank has sought clarity for the banking sector, underlining the concerns raised by many experts who suggested that these proposed regulations will be impossible to follow.
While Sweden has recently ended its state-run monopoly on gambling, Norway is still adamant in sticking to that approach.
In the past, countries with protectionist gambling sectors wanted to offer gambling only if they could put the revenues into socially responsible initiatives. They didn’t want foreign operators to take a large slice of the revenues out of the country.
However, with the popularity of the internet, it has become harder and harder to police in recent years because there are many ways in which Norwegian gamblers can use foreign operators. Therefore, the costs outweighed the rewards for countries like Sweden and, with significant sums being driven to offshore companies that weren’t paying taxes in Sweden, the time was right to end the state monopoly.
It was only recently that the Norwegian government submitted new gambling regulations to the European Commissions, under which the country would maintain its monopoly system for years to come.
Additional measures will allow the country’s authorities to deal with illegal foreign operators targeting Norwegian residents. They give banks greater scope to block any payments offshore gambling operators, and the banks are urged to submit information to the NGA if they are asked for details about particular customers believed to be involved in unlicensed gambling.
DNS blocking would be brought in as part of these new measures to prevent people in Norway from even accessing gambling websites that are operated abroad, and the Gaming Authority would have the ability to look at every bank’s annual report to try and spot any suspicious transactions.
Source: European Gaming Industry News