When you compare the gaming laws in Norway with those of the other Scandinavian countries, it seems quite shocking that the country would take such a conservative stance. While protecting citizens from the problems associated with gaming is a high priority, without proper enforcement of the laws, players are simply driven underground where the government cannot gather the information necessary to manage the issues. While gambling is still very popular in Norway, players need to take extra steps to find great slots to play, and that is where we come in to help.
Gambling Regulations in Norway
Gambling in Norway has been around for decades, but with heavy restrictions. The first form of legalized gambling in Norway was Horse Racing, which was made legal by the Totalisator Act of 1927. This gave the rights to accept wagering on horses to a state-run monopoly called Norsk Riskoto. This was the only piece of legislation in place for decades, but for the most part, gambling was still looked down upon for the next several decades.
In 1992, a new Gaming Act was signed into law, which added lottery and minimal soccer betting to the list of products that Norsk Riskoto could offer. This was expanded a few years later when in 1995 the Lottery Act did a much better job of explaining what games could be considered legal and run by the state.
After the Lottery Act was introduced, a second government-run agency was started to share the load of gambling activities. Norsk Riskoto remained in control of Horse Racing, while lottery, sports betting, poker, keno, and scratch cards all feel under the new company, Norsk Tipping.
Missing from all of this were casino games and in particular slot machines. These games had been introduced into bars and cafes and seemed to operate outside the law, which the Norwegian government made sure to address when it made all land-based slot machines illegal in the mid-2000s. The government reversed its position on land-based slots two years later, and they are now widely accepted again and all under the control of Norsk Tipping.
When it came to online gambling, the government started to squeeze even tighter regarding controlling the industry. Not only are Norsk Tipping and Norsk Riskoto the only approved operators of online games in Norway, but there is also even legislation in place now that makes playing on an offshore site illegal. Of course, this came with significant resistance from the citizens, and many sites simply ignore the directive to stop taking bets from residents of the country. There has yet to be a player charged or prosecuted under this law, and with so many professional poker players coming from the country, it doesn’t appear that players are planning to stop playing with offshore operators anytime soon.
As for the sites themselves, until the ISPs block them from being accessed within the borders of Norway, many will continue to roll the dice and take the real-money casino action. There was talk of creating a blacklist in 2010, but nothing has materialized. Instead, the government implemented a payment bill that made it very hard for Norwegians to use their local credit cards to make deposits at offshore casinos.
Online Casino Software Available in Norway
With such a conservative approach to online gambling in Norway, many software developers do not want to risk their reputation or the revenue from other jurisdictions, so they have left the market for the time being. These companies tend to be the ones that are publicly traded, as there is a responsibility to shareholders to stay out of trouble. That doesn’t mean that Norwegian players are out of luck – there are still many companies that have Norway-friendly licensees, which means players will still be able to find thousands of excellent slots titles across the operator sites. Some of the software that players may come across includes these top-notch vendors:
- Real Time Gaming
- Play ‘N Go
Best Online Casinos for Norwegian Players
As with any other country that finds itself in a grey area regarding online gambling, we always suggest that players proceed with caution when playing at an online casino. That does not mean that you shouldn’t play – there are plenty of reputable offshore options for you, but you should definitely keep only a minimal amount of money on any site. When we review casinos for this site, we look for the most reputable firms – those with the least amount of complaints, the best software offering and the bonuses that make it attractive to make a deposit. We have reviewed dozens of casinos that are open to Norwegian players, but to make your life a little easier, we have compiled a list of some of our favorites here. As always, we would love your feedback on any sites you have played at, good or bad so we can continue to improve these pages for our playing community.
While there has been some discussion of changing the online gambling laws in Norway, there has been no movement on that front for a few years, so for the foreseeable future, there will be an added level of risk for players who choose to play at offshore sites. Mitigating that risk is all part of the reason why we put this site together for you. Good luck!