The rules on online gambling from Norway are quite strict although they aren’t really enforced and citizens gamble pretty much freely online.
Officially gambling provided by state backed operators is legal with Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto being the only two sanctioned – the reality of the situation is that residents use overseas providers to get better odds and a higher quality service without punishment.
This guide will give you the key facts surrounding laws and legislation’s and also provide you with recommendations for betting sites which accept Norwegian customers.
Key Facts: Online Gambling In Norway
- Only gambling provided by state backed operators legal.
- Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto only two legal operators.
- Many residents still use overseas betting sites.
- No prosecutions or punishment for players using overseas sites recorded.
- Legal age to gamble is 18+.
Norway Betting Sites: Top 5
The following is a list of the best betting sites for residents of Norway:
Gambling Law & Legislation Timeline
Norway is a country which has had legislation in place regarding gambling for over 100 years. The following timeline describes the most important such legislation which has been passed:
1902 – Norwegian Penal Code
Under sections 288 and 289 of the Norwegian Penal Code of 1902, only providers holding special licences were allowed to operate games of chance. Only a legal statute, furthermore, was able to grant such a license thus establishing the initial framework for the Norwegian government’s monopoly over all gambling.
1927 – Totalisator Act
Norway’s 1927 Totalisator Act set out the basis for the Norsk Rikstoto monopoly over horse racing betting in the country. It also stipulated that the organisation would be under the regulation of the Ministry of Agriculture.
1992 – Gaming Act
The Gaming Act of 1992 established the second state backed monopoly within Norwegian gambling, by granting Norsk Tipping the sole right to operate the numbers game ‘lotto’ and to run football betting within the country. This particular organisation would be supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.
1995 – Lottery Act
A more comprehensive act, the Lottery Act of 1995 defined all forms of lotteries and similar games. As well as giving Norsk Tipping the right to run these, the act also allowed for their operation by socially oriented organisations when the money garnered would be collected for the benefit of society.
2007 and 2009 – Banning of Slot Machines and Introduction of IVTs
Initially, slot machines were seen as falling under the jurisdiction of the 1995 Lottery Act. When technology developed and the machines became far more popular, however, this act did not effectively regulate their use. As such, in 2007 the Norwegian government banned slot machines outright. Two years later, in 2009, they introduced interactive video terminals (IVTs) essentially in their stead. These machines are now all owned by Norsk Tipping and require a special card to be used, which imposes strict daily and monthly usage limits.
2008 – Gambling at Overseas Sites Made Illegal
Initially, following the rise of online gambling, Norwegian citizens were allowed to bet with overseas based bookmakers and to use foreign gambling sites. This was made illegal in December 2008, however, to further protect Norway’s state run gambling monopolies.
2010 – Payment Act
Inspired by a similar act in force in the USA, Norwegian authorities passed the Payment Act in 2010. This act forbids banks in Norway from allowing their customers to use their credit or debit cards to deposit with overseas based gambling sites.
Do Players Get Taxed On Winnings?
Norway has unquestionably some of the strictest and most restrictive gambling legislation in the world today, and their hard-line also extends to the area of taxation.
Where most countries tax gambling providers and largely leave punters alone, Norway do require tax to be paid on gambling winnings. This requirement is largely aimed at poker players but does still encompass all types of gambler. What’s more, there is a strange contradiction in Norwegian law whereby gambling winnings earned overseas must be declared and are also subject to tax in Norway.
Online Deposit Options & Methods
Since 2008, depositing with and using overseas based online gambling providers has been illegal in Norway. Since 2010, too, banks have been forbidden from allowing their customers to deposit with such sites from their accounts or using their debit or credit cards.
According to recent estimates, however, online gambling in Norway is still on the rise and more so through overseas based sites than through the domestic and legal state sponsored offerings. Those punters who do decide to still utilise foreign sites tend to deposit to them using e-wallet services such as Skrill or Paypal, which ensures that their bank doesn’t know where any money withdrawn is ultimately going.