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Norsk Tipping ceases sports betting TV ads

| By Richard Mulligan
Norsk Tipping has ceased advertising its sports betting services on Norwegian television until further notice after the nation’s main broadcasters barred commercials featuring unlicensed operators.
norsk tipping

The state-owned monopoly acted after Discovery Network last month paused the showing of advertisements for foreign gaming companies on its Norwegian TV channels, in line with requirements set out by the Norwegian Media Authority earlier this year.

Norsk Tipping outlined a series of further actions designed to reduce marketing efforts, including a lowering of expenditure and an end to SMS messages promoting sports betting.

“When the illegal advertising is now mostly gone from Norwegian TV screens, we adapt our visibility to the new situation, as we always do,” said Tonje Sagstuen, Norsk Tipping’s communications director.

“Norsk Tipping shall not market more than necessary, but sufficiently so that the players choose the regulated offer. We have long been wary of sports betting advertising on TV. Now we are stopping it completely.

“There is good reason to be happy about the development, especially because the illegal advertising has mainly been for online casinos and sports, i.e. the game categories most associated with gambling problems.”

Norsk Tipping will also make online casino games less prominent on its website and app as it seeks to push players towards what it considers to be its less risky lottery offering.

“Ensuring that lottery games such as Lotto and Eurojackpot are still dominant in the market is central to the work to prevent gambling problems,” Sagstuen continued. “It is therefore important that we continue to attract players to the lottery products, which have a much lower risk profile than, for example, online casino.

“Stopping illegal TV advertising does not mean that the unregulated companies stop marketing. Digital media, influencers, podcasts, events, e-mail, SMS and other channels are used daily to capture customers and market shares. We have to answer that.”

In April, the Norwegian Media Authority ordered the nation’s five largest TV distributors to remove advertising from foreign gambling companies by 15 August. The order came after an investigation last year uncovered “massive and serious” breaches on Discovery Network channels FEM, MAX, VOX and Eurosport Norway.

Telenor, Telia, Altibox, RiksTV and Allente were all instructed to use their agreements with Discovery to ensure that “television broadcasts do not contain marketing for gambling that is prohibited in Norway.”

Following the introduction of the Broadcasting Act in 2021, the Norwegian Media Authority has the power to order TV distributors to prevent or make it difficult for unlicensed gambling companies to market their products or services in Norway.

In May 2022, Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality launched a consultation on the country’s new proposed Gambling Act.

Among the most significant parts of the new act is the introduction of “infringement fees” for operators that violate the Gambling Act, including those who target the country without a licence. In Norway, only monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto may offer online gambling.

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