Norway considers stricter rules against poker operators

Gloomy news for Norwegian poker players as the already strict rules against foreign operators may be tightened.

Norway Poker

The Norwegian Gambling Authority (Lotteritilsynet) is on the cusp of taking further steps to restrict competition against state-owned gambling monopoly Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.

Norway’s Labour, Christian Peoples, Socialist Left and Centrist Parties’ issued a combined mandate which includes further restrictions on advertising unlicensed websites, allowing Norway's gambling regulator to monitor the bank accounts of unlicensed operators and IP blocking of foreign operators. 

These new proposals will be presented in parliament in May and a consultation period to consider them will end on August 15. 

State-owned Norsk Tipping offers a number of lottery, slots and casino offerings, but no poker, effectively meaning Norwegian poker players would have no legal options to play were these new restrictions enforced to the full extent of the law. Poker is Norway is already prohibited so strongly that the Norwegian Poker Championships takes place in countries outside of Norway and last month the police raided several Norwegian private games

Norsk Tipping provides a portion of its profits to charity. Last year their profits were NK 5.25 billion ($665 million).

It has not been a good week for the legality of poker worldwide as last weekend the Chinese government effectively banned online poker, in a move dubbed the 'Chinese Black Friday'. 

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