The media regulator for Norway has reportedly ordered some of the Scandinavian nation’s largest terrestrial and satellite television broadcasters to cease showing advertisements for foreign-headquartered online gambling providers.
According to a source, the move from the Medietilsynet watchdog comes amid a general crackdown against the marketing of unlicensed iGaming services after a 2021 investigation exposed ‘massive and serious’ breaches on the VOX, FEM, MAX and Eurosport Norway channels from American media behemoth Discovery Incorporated.
A new Medietilsynet edict has now reportedly directed domestic broadcasters Telia Norge AS, Allente, RiksTV, Altibox and Telenor ASA to utilize their arrangements with Discovery Incorporated so as to make sure their ‘broadcasts do not contain marketing for gambling that is prohibited in Norway.’ The quintet has purportedly been given until August 15 to implement these changes and been advised ‘not pay to oppose the order’ with any subsequent indiscretions due to bring ‘significant financial reactions.’
The Norwegian government reportedly holds a domestic monopoly on all gambling activities under the supervision of the Lotteritilsynet watchdog while additionally maintaining a strict prohibition on unlicensed operation in order ‘to protect people with gambling problems.’ Nevertheless, the Director for the Medietilsynet, Mari Velsand (pictured), proclaimed recently that the country has been seeing ‘large amounts of gambling advertising’ primarily from ‘foreign players’ appear on its television channels.
However, the source explained that the government of Norway amended its Broadcasting Act in January of last year to give the Medietilsynet powers to prevent or make it more difficult for domestic television broadcasters to market unlicensed products and services such as iGaming.
Reportedly read a statement from Velsand…
“Overall, the Medietilsynet’s enforcement of the provisions of the Broadcasting Act, the Lotteritilsynet’s effective enforcement of the payment service ban and the close follow-up against platforms such as Google and Facebook have made foreign companies’ access to the Norwegian market increasingly difficult. This is a desired development from which society will benefit, especially the vulnerable among us.”
All of this reportedly comes about seven weeks from the Lotteritilsynet regulator advising prominent online casino operator Kindred Group that it would be hit with daily fines of up to €118,649 ($134,630) if it did not stop servicing players in Norway. This stark warning was purportedly issued some 34 months after the watchdog told the Swedish firm’s Trannel International Limited subordinate to immediately cease allowing local punters to access its unlicensed online casino and sportsbetting domain at Unibet.com.
Kindred Group is behind responsible for a plethora of well-known mobile-friendly iGaming sites that moreover include MariaCasino.com, 32Red.com and Bingo.com and reportedly reacted to this Lotteritilsynet ultimatum by subsequently asking the Oslo District Court for its opinion on the matter. The Stockholm-listed operator is now purportedly expecting to receive a decision sometime next month and in the meantime is controversially continuing to offer its services to punters in the European country.