Lottstift, the Gambling Authority of Norway, has been granted rights to launch a high-concentration ‘DNS Blocking campaign’ beginning in 2024 against unlicensed online gambling firms.
The announcement was made by Director Henrik Nordal, who confirmed that the government had approved Lottstift plans to order Norwegian ISP to immediately shut down user access to websites deemed illegal.
“From January 2024, DNS blocking of websites that offer illegal gambling in Norway will probably take place”, Nordal warned in an update posted on Lottstif’s website.
“This means that the internet provider stops you if you try to access such a website.”
The blocking of foreign/unlicensed operators is deemed necessary as “55,000 Norwegians have a gambling problem, and 122,000 are at risk of developing it”, according to figures of Norway’s 2019 welfare survey.
Further directives will see Lottstift launch a public awareness campaign, as out of 10 Norwegians do not know or are unsure about who is allowed to offer gambling.
“We are getting more and more tools, and collectively we see that this has a good effect. We have advocated introducing DNS blocking as soon as possible because it is a good measure.”
Ahead of 2024, gambling operators that continue to promote unlicensed gambling to national consumers will be placed under supervision.
The authority has stated that it plans to use the time leading up to the enforcement of these regulations to initiate legal action against such organizations, with the possibility of imposing mandatory fines if they do not cease their operations.
The strategy has been previously used against Trannel Unibet and BML Betsson, two operators who previously challenged Lottstif’s cease and desist orders within Norway’s judicial system.
Continuing to challenge Lottstift, in December, Trannel Unibet confirmed that it had withdrawn all Norwegian language services and that it would accept Norwegian players passively.
Nordal emphasized the importance of this effort, stating: “For companies planning to exit the Norwegian market and demonstrating genuine commitment through implemented measures, we will focus on providing guidance instead of resorting to punitive actions and DNS blocking.”