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Norsk Tipping cuts monthly loss limits on high-risk games by 25%

| By Robert Fletcher
Norwegian state-owned operator Norsk Tipping has reduced the maximum monthly loss limit on its high-risk games by 25%, as part of a number of temporary measures that will run throughout December and January.

Customers will only be permitted to lose up to NOK7,500 (£634/€707/$845) each month when playing KongKasino, eFlax, Bingoria and Yezz, while the maximum daily loss limit for these games has been cut by 50% to NOK2,000.

Norsk Tipping has also increased the mandatory break players must take after playing continuously for one hour, with this rising from 90 seconds to 15 minutes.

Other measures include the removal of the ‘popular’ label on some online casino games, while Norsk Tipping will cease sending marketing emails and texts to users aged between 18 and 25.

All of the new measures will come into effect from today (1 December), and will remain in place until at least the end of January, after which Norsk Tipping will evaluate the measures and decide whether they should continue.

“We know that gambling problems are increasing in the population, and that December is our biggest gambling month,” Norsk Tipping chief executive Åsne Havnelid said.

“The measures against novel coronavirus (Covid-19) mean that more people can experience spending more time alone than they usually do during the Christmas month. For vulnerable players, this can lead to more gambling, and we want to prevent that.”

Meanwhile, the Norwegian government has announced that it will commit an additional NOK15m to problem gambling efforts in the country.

The funds will be used to support research, prevention efforts and treatment of gambling problems in Norway, as part of its ongoing Action Plan initiative.

Financed from Norsk Tipping’s profits, the Action Plan initiative began in 2005, with the latest edition covering the period from 2019 to 2021.

Key objectives of the current Action Plan include reducing the amount of people in Norway who suffer from gambling problems, as well as increasing knowledge of gambling harm and sharing this with players.

In addition, the plan seeks to enhance the early identification of problem gambling and the treatment provided to players.

“For most people, gambling is a pleasant recreation, and many Norwegians enjoy playing, but for some people, gambling has become a serious problem,” Norway’s Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, Abid Raja said.

“That is why we work continuously with measures that ensure that gambling policy is based on accountability. I am proud that we in Norway have a gambling policy that puts responsibility first.”

Norsk Tipping is the only operator permitted to offer online gambling in Norway, and as such is the only operator that can fund the initiative. 

“It is not permitted for foreign companies to offer gambling in Norway, or to direct these offers to the Norwegian market via the internet,” Raja said. “These companies are not subject to the same strict liability measures as Norsk Tipping and benefit from the fact that many of their customers lose far more than they can afford.

“This is not how we want it to be in Norway.”

The new funding comes after the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming (Norsk Bransjeforening for Onlinespill/NBO) in October called for a complete rethink on rules relating to the sector in its official response to the country’s proposed new gambling legislation.

According to the NBO, the bill, which seeks to unify the existing Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalisator Act and maintain Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto’s monopolies in the market, would mean poor standards of protection and value for customers.

Instead, the NBO advocates a licensing model for private operators, with a tax rate of 15%, which it said would result in an expected channelling rate of more than 95%.

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