Norway’s gambling authority Lottstift has written to national media operators, warning incumbents that it will not tolerate the publishing of betting odds or promotion of online betting brands towards the general public.
Writing to national media stakeholders, Lottstift emphasises news publishing as a specific concern which it seeks to address, stating that publishers have allowed newspapers to print odds in articles referencing unlicensed bookmaker odds and markets.
Lottstift Regulatory Director Henrik Nordal reaffirms that Norwegian media owners whether knowingly or not are breaking the law if they continue to reference unlicensed bookmakers.
“Getting Norwegian newspapers to write about their gaming offers is one of the methods illegal gambling companies use to gain publicity and create a brand,” said Nordal. “We will not intervene in editorial decisions, but we will urge Norwegian editors to be aware of this, and critical when they write cases that deal with illegal gambling companies.”
Lottstift’s spring statement saw Director-General Gunn Merete Paulsen address Norwegian banks and internet service providers, underlining that it would demand them to enact tougher enforcement on its behalf, ensuring that the government’s ‘toughest stance on unlicensed gambling actors’ is undertaken.
With regards to media, Paulsen has stated that Lottstift will help redraft Norway’s advertising codes, moving to end the promotion of betting advertising by both national and international media owners.
Lottstift governance has issued warnings to TV3, ViaSat, MAX, VOX and Eurosport, warning the international media operators to cease broadcasting ‘cross border’ advertising featuring betting adverts deemed to be targeting Norweigian audiences.
It said: “When the media writes these cases, they help to legitimise illegal gambling companies their illegal activity aimed at Norwegians. The company is mentioned without the reader being informed that they are illegal players in Norway, and it is already true that 6 out of 10 Norwegians do not know or are unsure of who can offer money games in Norway and not.”