The consultation period for a new Gambling Act set to replace the existing Lottery Act and the previous Gambling Act has been officially launched by Norway's Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality.
The new Gambling Act will consolidate the various aspects of the three existing acts into one piece of legislation. It will also introduce some new rules seen as necessary as the industry has evolved to include iGaming.
These changes include the introduction of fines for gambling operators who infringe the rules of the Act, in what seems to be a direct attempt to penalize illegal and unlicensed online operators actively taking bets in the country. Currently, the only two online gambling operators in Norway are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto.
The new Act was introduced after the government's proposal of rules in 2021 to mitigate these unlawful activities. Now the Act intends to take those rules a step further, as the infringement fees could see regulator Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet fine illegal companies up to 10% of turnover if they breach the online gambling rules set out in the Act.
The Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming has criticized the legislation for not removing the monopoly on iGaming and not allowing private companies to operate in Norway under license.
The draft legislation is open to comments from stakeholders until 5 August. If approved, the new Gambling Act is set to come into force on 1 January, 2023.