Players based in Norway can have a relatively similar online casino gaming experience as those in other Scandinavian nations. While all forms of online gambling are legal (save for Bitcoin betting) there are a few ins and outs that players may wish to familiarise themselves with before they decide to bet online. These are amongst the most straightforward gambling laws of any European country, but even so, it always helps to find out just what you can and cannot do when playing in the Nordic nation.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Norway?
All forms of gambling (again, apart from cryptocurrency betting) are legal in Norway. However, the Norwegian Government controls and regulates gambling through two companies. These are the only two companies who are, in theory, allowing to offer such services to Norwegian players legally. They are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. The former can provide lottery, casino, sports betting, and table game wagering, while the latter is in charge of horse racing.
The current gambling law dates back to 2011, and it states that Norwegian players must be aged 18 to gamble – either online or offline. The legislation also specifies that only internet betting sites belonging to one of the two state monopolies are deemed legal. Norway doesn’t, for instance, license offshore operators and their casinos.
However, the Norwegian gambling authorities do not prosecute their players for visiting such sites. Any Norwegian can, therefore, bet at any online casino in the world without fear of punishment. Norwegian authorities do tend to come down hard and heavy on international operators offering Norwegians their services, though.
In a bid to cut out foreign sites from the market, a Payment Act was passed in 2010, and it was designed to ensure that Norwegian banks didn’t permit their customers to use credit and debit cards to wager at any venue (land-based or online) which was located outside of Norway. Norwegian players (who love to gamble) simply switched to e-wallets to get around this law. Although it is deemed a failure, the law is still in place.
Norwegian Online Casinos
Norwegian online casinos will almost certainly belong to Norsk Tipping (as the other monopoly deals with horse racing). These sites are few in number, but they can offer a similar type of gaming experience to those found at other worldwide sites. Expect games from major Scandinavian casino software providers such as Netent, Yggdrasil, Play ‘n Go and more.
Norwegian casinos will also permit players to use their local banks to make transfers, and offer the nation’s language as well as the NOK (Norwegian krone) currency option. Most Norwegian betting sites tend to be “all-in-one” domains, which means that they can offer sports betting, bingo, lottery games and poker alongside online casino titles.
While casinos in Norway are licensed and deemed entirely legal, a considerable number of Norwegians do tend to play at foreign casinos, too. As mentioned, there is no penalty for them doing so, so the option of playing something arguably more international is often very tempting for citizens of the Scandinavian country.
Offshore Casino Sites for Norwegian Players
Even though the Norwegian gambling authorities have the right to issue hefty fines to foreign operators, they don’t always carry out this threat. As a result, many international sites have chosen to take the risk and offer their services to players in Norway.
These foreign sites can also offer the Norwegian language in many cases, and this means that they will likely provide players with the NOK currency option to boot. Norwegian casinos tend to feature the same sites (as they owned by the same monopolies – so there is precious little difference between them). If locals fancy playing something entirely different, they don’t really have any option but to play at such offshore domains.
Norway only mildly blocks international domains. It is usually just the dangerous domains which are targeted, with many secure websites slipping through the cracks. It is these casinos which target Norwegians. VPNs (virtual private networks) do a more than decent job of eradicating any blacklisted operations by the Norwegian gaming authorities.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
Given that many of its European neighbours now offer their own licenses, including some which operate monopolies just like Norway, there doesn’t appear to much chance of Norway changing its gambling laws at any point in the immediate future.
There are only two avenues which may be explored if things did change, though. It is possible that Norway will repeal the failed Payment Act, as it has not stopped players from betting at non-Norwegian venues. Alternatively, they may decide to issue gambling licenses to foreign sites, and this would create a significantly larger pool of casinos for native players to choose from. However, the two state monopolies may have something or two to say about that.
Top Norwegian Casino Sites
Norwegian online casinos are capable of providing a top-notch casino gaming experience for players. They contain many top software providers’ games and are ideally suited for local players in terms of languages and currency. However, there are a few big name offshore sites which may tick your boxes, too.
Players who fancy a trip to other sites may wish to try their hand at Paradise Casino, Cleopatra, Slots Million, Karamba, Casumo, Video Slots Casino, Cashmio Casino, bgo Casino, Betway, Guts Casino, MobileBet, Rizk Casino, and Fika Casino.