Norway plots clampdown on online gambling advertising

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Norway is ratcheting up its protectionist crackdown on internationally licensed online gambling sites by targeting their advertising campaigns.

Linda Hofstad Helleland, Norway’s culture minister, recently announced plans to introduce legislation to restrict the ability of international gambling operators to beam marketing pitches into the country from satellite television channels based outside Norway. The plan is to introduce the changes in the spring and have them approved by summer.

According to Helleland, Norway’s already restrictive advertising rules only “hit a part of the market” as operators have learned to “adapt” their lines of communication to circumvent the restrictions.

Norway Today quoted Pernille Huseby, acting secretary-general of Norwegian anti-addiction outfit ACTIS, saying international gambling operators were running an average of 62 commercials per hour via Norwegian-language channels including TV3, Viasat4, Max and Eurosport Norge, which are based in other European Union member states.

Helleland claimed to have conferred with European Union officials regarding how best to combat these unwanted advertising signals. This protectionist impulse got a leg-up last week after the European Commission confirmed that it was dropping all online gambling infringement proceedings against EU member states.

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