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Problem gambling lowered by half based on a Norway Harms survey



The latest survey on gambling harms reveals that the number of individuals in Norway affected by problem gambling has significantly decreased, more than halving since 2019.

A recent study conducted by Spillforsk at the University of Bergen has revealed that approximately 23,000 individuals in Norway are currently dealing with problem gambling, while an additional 93,000 are considered at risk of developing gambling-related harms.

These findings indicate a significant improvement compared to the previous survey conducted in 2019, where the number of problem gamblers stood at 55,000, with 122,000 individuals classified as being at risk.

Henrik Nordal, the Director of the Norwegian Lottery Authority, expressed satisfaction with the survey results, stating that it demonstrates the success of their organization’s approach. He emphasized that despite the increased accessibility of gambling through mobile phones, effective measures have been implemented to protect many players from developing gambling problems.


Nordal also acknowledged the severity of problem gambling and reaffirmed the commitment to work diligently in preventing gambling-related issues, understanding the detrimental impact it can have on those affected.

Nordel emphasizes increased regulatory oversight

Nordal attributed the decline in problem gambling to stricter regulations imposed on unlicensed operators and enhanced responsible gambling initiatives implemented by the state gaming monopoly. He highlighted that numerous banks have ceased facilitating transactions with illegal gambling companies, and illegal television advertising has been curtailed.

Furthermore, Nordal emphasized that Norsk Tipping’s casino games have implemented tighter loss limits, and the existence of a debt register has contributed to fewer gambling-related issues.

The Norwegian Lottery Authority also considered the potential lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a reduction in gaming opportunities, as a factor in the decrease of problem gambling rates.


Restrictions on advertising in Norway impact the issue of problem gambling

The survey findings indicated a decrease in the exposure of Norwegians to gambling advertising across various channels, including television, internet, leaflets, shops, and direct marketing. Notably, television experienced the most significant decline in advertising.

As of January 1st, unlicensed operators were prohibited from advertising their services in Norway under the Broadcast Act. This measure was implemented to address the advertising pressure exerted by illegal betting companies such as Unibet, Betsson, and ComeOn on TV channels like TVNorge, TV3, and Viasat.

According to Nordel, this change has led to increased awareness among Norwegians about which companies are authorized to offer gambling services in the country.

The survey also revealed that at-risk and problem gamblers were exposed to gambling advertisements to a greater extent compared to those in low-risk groups. Spillforsk, the research organization, speculated that this discrepancy could be attributed to problem gamblers being more attentive to stimuli associated with their gambling issues.


Enhanced financial compliance measures

The regulatory authority emphasized that it has reinforced the prohibition on transferring funds to or from unlicensed gambling operators. This ban encompasses both the wagers made by players and any resulting winnings.

Nordel stated that their responsibility is to oversee and enforce this ban, noting that an increasing number of banks and financial institutions have implemented robust procedures to make it harder for illegal gambling companies to operate.

Additionally, the regulatory body highlighted the significance of the Debt Register, which has made it more challenging for individuals to accumulate substantial gambling debts.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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