The Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming (NBO) and the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) have reached an agreement to collaborate on regulation and betting integrity. This collaboration is formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for cooperation to promote a safe and effective licensing and regulatory regime. Both organizations will also work on specific betting integrity provisions.

The IBIA and NBO are urging Norway to withdraw its existing gambling monopoly system. Currently, Norsk Tipping holds the rights to online casino gaming and sports betting, while Norsk Rikstoto covers horse racing. However, there are calls for Norway to open up licensing to other approved operators, with support from organizations such as the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

Norway’s gambling monopoly system is facing criticism, as it is regarded as hindering the market. NBO’s general secretary, Carl Fredrik Stenstrøm, expressed that the monopoly is not the most effective solution for consumer protection or industry integrity. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive and internationally regulated gambling offering.

The MoU between NBO and IBIA aims to address responsible practices and support initiatives to minimize the impact of gambling-related harm. The partnership is seen as a concerted effort to challenge the continuation of the monopoly-style approach to betting in Norway, with the lack of licensing for responsible regulated betting operators hindering market oversight, consumer protection, and the implementation of effective sports betting integrity provisions.

This move comes as neighboring countries such as Finland have committed to ending their gambling monopolies in favor of a licensing model by 2026, while Sweden, Denmark, and Germany have also taken similar approaches. The IBIA and NBO hope to work together to support the NBO’s efforts to lobby against Norway’s current monopoly system. They are motivated to address the challenges posed by illegal gambling in Norway, with projections indicating that a significant proportion of online betting revenue in the country will be conducted offshore by 2024.

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