Seeking to fortify its stance against unlicensed gambling, Norway is pushing forward with a proposition to implement DNS (Domain Name System) blocking for such websites. The new legislation mandates internet service providers to initiate technical protocols, blocking access to specified websites, and rerouting users to a dedicated landing page explicating the cause of the blockade.
This effort constitutes a pivotal amendment to the Gambling Act, championed by the Ministry of Culture and Equality. After an intensive review, it received the green light from the cabinet on Friday.
The minister for culture and equality, Lubna Jaffery, articulated the primary aim of this move, emphasizing the protection of vulnerable players and their families from gambling-related adversities. She asserted, “If offshore gambling enterprises adhered to Norwegian regulations, this DNS blockade wouldn’t burden internet providers. Our focus is on entities we can exercise jurisdiction over.”
Enhancing the Fortress around Norway’s Gambling Monopoly These newly proposed measures feed into Norway’s broader strategy to reinforce its state-controlled gambling monopoly, a realm currently dominated by Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Financial establishments are already under the obligation to halt transactions tethered to unlawful gambling. This vigilant approach is evident as the Norwegian gambling overseer, Lotteritilsynet, keeps tabs on nine banks, ensuring adherence to the blocking protocols.
Notably, Lotteritilsynet has signaled potential DNS blockades for certain entities unless they exit the Norwegian market by 2024. Among the names listed are renowned operators like Betsson, bet365, and ComeOn, alongside brands such as Mariacasino, Storspiller, Bingo, and Unibet – all steered by Kindred’s Trannel subsidiary.
Contrasting this staunch defense, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) advocates for a deviation from the monopoly approach. They highlight Finland’s commitment to inaugurate a regulated gambling market by 2025, transitioning away from their state-controlled Veikkaus monopoly.