Growth in the Norwegian gaming market

The Norwegian gaming market grew by approximately NOK 600 million in the period 2015 to 2016. No official figures have been released, but Norsk Tipping estimates that the total net gaming market in Norway in 2016 was worth about NOK 11.8 billion.

In the period 2015 to 2016, Norsk Tipping’s net sales increased by about NOK 450 million. The largest growth was seen in universally popular products such as lotteries and scratch games, which together constitute about 50 per cent of the entire Norwegian gaming market. In 2016, Norsk Tipping’s total market share was 65 per cent.

The rest of the regulated market remains relatively stable. Horse race betting exhibited modest growth, while bingo saw a decline. Overall, other forms of regulated gaming make up 21 per cent of the total market. The unregulated market is estimated to make up 14 per cent, which is at the same level as in 2015.

Increased pressure from TV advertising

More than 560,000 gaming advertisements were shown on Norwegian television in 2016. Ninety per cent of these promoted overseas gaming companies competing in an ever-increasing battle for the approximately 250,000 customers playing in the unregulated market.

Customer growth

More customers played Norsk Tipping’s games in 2016 than in 2015, with lotteries such as Lotto and Vikinglotto being the most popular. More than 1.9 million Norwegians played a lottery game with Norsk Tipping in 2016. Compared with 2015, Norsk Tipping has seen customer growth in all its game categories.

Boosting responsible gaming in the regulated market

As well as contacting its vulnerable customers, Norsk Tipping consolidated its work to promote responsible gaming when on 2 October 2016 it introduced total loss limits. Read more about this in the chapter “Responsible gaming”

In the licence held for the period 2017-2021 by the horse race betting company Norsk Rikstoto, it states that the company shall introduce registered gaming by 1 January 2018, with total limits for stakes and/or losses by 1 January 2019. This will consolidate the company’s work to further promote responsible gaming within the regulated gaming market.

Government says no to licensing

In its White Paper entitled “Everything to gain – a responsible and proactive gaming policy”, the Norwegian government delivered its verdict on how it viewed future regulation of the Norwegian gaming market.

It proposed that the current exclusive rights system should remain in place. This proposal is based on a complete and thorough assessment in which responsible gaming remains the prime consideration.

Moreover, the government recommends further comprehensive changes to the current statutory framework governing gaming, by which the Norwegian Lotteries Act (lotteriloven), Gaming Act (pengespilloven) and Totalisor Act (totalisatorloven) should be merged to form a single statute. In this connection, it is proposed that all responsibility for gaming policy should come under the remit of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, which will make the Ministry responsible for Rikstoto as well.

The White Paper also contains an evaluation of a variety of initiatives designed to protect the monopoly system from illegal activities. Here, the government intends to reinforce the prohibition on money transfers, to continue work towards blocking access to TV advertising by overseas companies, and to investigate DNS notifications in the form of “pop-up windows”.

The White Paper is now under consideration by the Norwegian Parliament.