Feeds

Norway gov mulls blocking online gambling

Probably not political, though

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Norwegian government this week indicated it is considering blocking the ISP addresses of companies that offer gambling online.

This follows a survey, attributed to the Norsk Tipping state gambling monopoly, suggesting that tough measures to curb online gambling already taken by the Norwegian government had failed: far from reducing the incidence of online gambling, more Norwegians than ever - some four per cent of Norwegians of those over the age of 18 - were depositing money on foreign gambling sites.

Reports that a block is under consideration first surfaced in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, which suggested that Culture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt was actively considering ISP filtering to block foreign internet gambling operators.

Reaffirming that government opposition to unregulated online gambling remained as strong as ever, she is reported as saying: "We want to consider using filtering IP addresses against gambling companies that are undesirable in Norway.

"Such measures have been successfully used in Italy, Estonia and France, and the concept has found favour in Denmark."

According to government rhetoric, this move is needed to address rising domestic problems of gambling addiction and fraud. However, online gambling site GamingZion reckons there are still 253 Norwegian sites that offer gameplay in English or Norwegian and accept wagers in Norwegian Kronor or US Dollars.

It states that online gambling in Norway is legal, but the situation is "tricky", with Norsk Tipping, a state-run company that controls all lotteries and sports betting in Norway, the only internet site where Norwegian players can legally place bets at present.

This is because in December 2008, Norway brought in a law to block online gambling through foreign online casinos, and following the implementation of this law on 1 June 2010, banks and credit card companies in Norway were no longer allowed to transfer funds between Norwegian accounts and foreign internet gambling sites.

The law does not, however, prevent state-run companies such as Norske Tipping and Rikstoto from continuing to profit significantly from online gambling. Cynics therefore suspect that these moves have more to do with protecting domestic business and reducing the flow of cash overseas than protecting the Norwegian punter.

Clive Hawkswood of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is reported last year as saying: "It is difficult to believe that the aim of the proposed measures is to protect consumers and restrict gambling given the Norwegian monopoly’s appetite for recruiting new players and the extent of its marketing campaigns.

"The Norwegian authorities appear to be more motivated by the need to protect revenues from gambling, but this is not a valid justification to restrict the internal market rules."

Norway has previously been warned against taking the stance it has taken on gambling by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Norway is a member, and following implementation of its financial clampdown last year, EFTA signalled its intention to challenge restrictions imposed in this area.

Norwegian moves have previously copycatted the US Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which bans the facilitation of online gambling by payment companies, and has been echoed in recent weeks by debate around instigating similar measures in Finland. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.