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Norwegian regulator’s delight as Apple removes apps

| By iGB Editorial Team
Norwegian Gaming Authority sees Apple decision as a victory over problem gambling

The Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) has succeeded in persuading Apple to drop unlicensed gambling applications from its App Store.

In May, the NGA wrote to Apple requesting that a host of apps be removed from the App Store in Norway in order to comply with national gambling regulation and as part of an ongoing effort to protect consumers from developing gambling problems.

Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are currently the only two licensed operators that can offer online gambling services in the country.

The NGA said App Store guidelines do not allow gambling apps from operators that do not have necessary licensing in the locations where the app is used.

As a result, tech giant Apple has now removed the apps in question. Frank Hoff Hana, senior advisor at the NGA, praised the move and told iGamingBusiness.com that this will support the regulator’s pledge to tackle problem gambling.

“According to the Norwegian Gaming and Lottery Acts, only the two operators Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto can offer, meditate and market their online gambling services in Norway,” Hana said.

“It is prohibited for all other gambling operators without a Norwegian license to offer, mediate or market gambling services in Norway. This is a result of a restrict responsibility policy.

“The aim of this prohibition is primarily to protect consumers in Norway from developing gambling problems. Although many people enjoy gambling, there are others who have major problems with gambling.”

Hana added: “Gambling addiction is serious and do often cause people to lose more money than they can afford to lose.

“The Norwegian Gaming Authority works to prevent gambling addiction and their negative consequences, such as financial and social problem.”

Last month, the NGA reiterated its backing for new regulation to limit the impact of unregulated gambling after a spike in advertising from offshore operators. It claimed international operators spent some NOK866m (€91m/$105m) on television advertising in Norway last year as a way of getting around the country’s gambling monopoly.

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