ulture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said that with his previous experience as a minister and party leader, Sponheim was the ideal person to serve as the new chairman of the state gaming operator. He entered politics in 1988 as Mayor of Ulvik in Hordaland before being elected to parliament in 1993 as a member of the Liberal Party, which he currently leads.
With a degree in agricultural science from the Agricultural University of Norway, Sponheim has also served as Minister of Trade and Industry between 1997 and 2000 and Minister of Agriculture and Food between 2001 and 2005.
Following a major defeat for the Liberal Party in the 2009 elections, in which the party lost eight of its ten parliamentary seats including that of Sponheim, he announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Liberals at the party conference in spring of 2010.
The Liberal Party has been in favour of a review of Norsk Tipping’s monopoly status and of the licensing of cash games on the internet, alongside greater restrictions on the marketing of gambling services.