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Norway apes American gambling folly

Copycat UIGEA proposed by culture minister

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Norway's Minister of Culture and Church affairs has decided that the future of online gambling is American-style ineffectual regulatory madness, according to iGamingBusiness, among others.

Minister Trond Giske had initially intended to adopt a full-fledged version of the much-derided American legislation but, perhaps due to public ridicule, chose instead to try to sneak UIGEA-style regulation of banks and financial institutions onto existing gambling legislation. A "clarification", as it were. Either way, the bill would shift costs and responsibilities from law enforcement to the private sector.

The proposal was put out for comment until mid February, at which point it will be formally introduced in Parliament. As always, the private sector impacted by the changes sees the invisible hand of a government-backed gambling monopoly behind this, Norske Tipping, rather than the invisible hand of the market.

Why Norway would want to swim against the tide within Europe on this - not to mention the WTO, Japan, India and everyone else pushing for transparency, fairness and market regulation - is anybody's guess. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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