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Norwegian TV broadcasters railing against gambling ad ban

Norwegian gambling news

The Norwegian government’s regulatory body for gaming has extended its appreciation to the nation’s media regulator, Medietilsynet, for maintaining its steadfast commitment to the prohibition of gambling advertisements on television.

Broadcasters from many media outlets have reacted negatively to the decision. Among them are Altibox and Telia, two organizations that demanded that the laws be subjected to a process of revision since they are said to be in conflict with the broadcasting guidelines that are in place in the European Economic Area.

According to the Broadcasting Act that went into effect on January 1, 2021, it is possible for television operators to be urged to make it tougher for companies that do not have a license to promote their goods or services in Norway.

Such restrictions have affected the five major television distributors in Norway – Allente, Telenor, Altibox, Telia, and RiksTV. Betsafe, Unibet, Nordicbet, and Betsson put an end to the broadcasting of gambling advertisements on the following four Discovery network channels: Eurosport Norway, MAX, FEM, and VOX.

The five television distributors have been given the suggestion to renegotiate the agreements they have with Discovery and to make certain that their broadcasts do not feature any type of gambling advertisements or marketing, both of which are prohibited in the nation.

August 15 marks the expiration of the new request’s deadline. It is anticipated that TV distributors that do not comply will face severe financial repercussions. The National Manufacturers Association (NMA) made it plain that distributors which would reject the directive should not gain in any way financially from the decision.

READ: Kindred Group to exit Germany following court case in Norway

The need to safeguard those with gambling issues was the motivation for the adoption of this law, which makes it illegal for unlicensed operators to engage in advertising.

The Norwegian Media Authority asserts that the nation has been exposed to “large amounts of gambling advertising” on television, the majority of which has originated from “foreign players”.

Both Altibox and Telia contended that the decision would place severe constraints on their respective television services. They added that Medietilsynet had no legitimate justification for issuing this requirement because Disney had already counter-sued the nation’s Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality on the issue of ratifying the amendments to the Broadcasting Act. A resolution to the lawsuit has not yet been reached.

The Norwegian Gambling Authority, known as Lottstift, voiced its disapproval of Altibox and Telia’s refusal to comply with the instructions issued by the media authority. It stated that Norwegian television was an ineffective method of preventing issues related to gambling. According to the policy director of Lottstift, Henrik Nordal, TV advertisements are “one of the reasons why there are many with gambling problems in Norway”. Even more concerning is the fact that just four out of 10 gamblers in the country are aware of the distinction between legal and illegal forms of gambling.

In addition, Nordal stated that because there is no advertising for gambling on Norwegian television stations, it will be more difficult for illicit gaming operations to recruit Norwegian gamblers.

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