Norway commences online poker legislation assessment
With each passing day, Norway’s intent of pushing for a legal online gambling system within the country gains more traction. But the entire committee is not convinced to regulate online gambling in Norway as some are still against it. Legislative Culture Committee ordered a new in-depth report to analyse the proposals of online gambling, poker in particular.
Culture Committee’s Chairman, Svein Harberg said:
“We should look at all options to get gambling that is already taking place to be regulated”.
Among all the EU nations, Norway has some of the most forcefully gambling regulations. Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are only two state approved companies that offer restricted online gaming. Such games come under the umbrella of Ministry of Culture and Church affairs jurisdictions.
The new initiative of the committee could carve open several new avenues. They will study the online gambling systems of other countries such as Denmark, UK and Sweden before passing their own legislation.
There is a perception that online poker is low risk when it comes to problem gambling. Hence passing of legislation for online poker is believed to empower a change in gambling habits throughout and that is also bound to open the Norwegian market to operators. A legal online poker system would also help in building the revenue stream.
As per a report, $170 million in gross revenues go to offshore operators while Norway gets nothing. Hence, if the new plan is properly adhered to, a regulatory framework can be functional by 2015, which is perfectly in time for the Norway Championship of Poker.
In February 2013, the Culture Minister, Thorhild Widwey had given an approval for not just national live poker tournament, but also approval to legalize low stakes, home games.
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