Norway: State-Owned Monopolies Are the Sole Licence Holders of…
the Right to Provide Online and Mobile Gambling in Norway
Norway (June 2, 2023) — Remote gambling
Is remote gambling permitted and, if so, what types?
The state-owned monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the sole licence holders of the right to provide online and mobile gambling in Norway. However, it is not illegal for Norwegians to gamble on foreign-based remote gambling platforms, nor is it illegal for foreign-based operators of those platforms to tacitly provide Norwegian consumers with those services.
What are the criteria for obtaining a licence to operate remote gambling?
The criteria for obtaining a licence to operate remote gambling are the same as those for land-based gambling.
How do the licensing criteria for remote gambling operators differ from those applicable to land-based operators?
The licensing criteria for remote gambling operators and land-based operators do not differ.
May operators located in other countries offer internet gambling to consumers in your jurisdiction without obtaining a licence there?
Despite Norway’s strict gambling laws, Norwegian consumers can legally gamble on foreign-based websites hosted by foreign-based gambling operators without violating Norwegian law. Likewise, foreign-based operators may tacitly offer their services to Norwegian consumers if they hold a licence in another member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
The Norwegian authorities may pierce the veil if they suspect that a Norwegian operator with a predominantly Norwegian customer base locates its operations abroad to circumvent Norwegian law. The prohibition of the provision of gambling or related services is generally technology-neutral. Norwegian-based operators are prohibited from providing gambling services indiscriminately to any customer, regardless of nationality, if the services are provided on a website that is hosted on a server located in Norway. It does not matter if the website uses a foreign domain name.
Even operators that have no connection to Norway may be liable if they align and facilitate their business in a way that provides services to customers in Norway.
While a foreign-based operator may tacitly offer its services to Norwegian consumers without breaching Norwegian law, the Gaming and Foundation Authority may still seek to hinder its business by enacting resolutions prohibiting Norwegian-based financial institutions and payment service providers from facilitating gambling-related payments between gambling operators and their customers.
May operators licensed in your jurisdiction offer internet gambling to consumers in other countries?
The state-owned Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the only legal online gambling operators in Norway and have no mandate to operate abroad.
What tax rate applies to each form of remote gambling?
Prizes that are considered incidental prizes and exceed 10,000 Norwegian kroner are taxable at a rate of 27 per cent (under section 5–50(1) of the Taxation Act). For professional gamblers, winnings may be considered income through self-employment. As such, they will be taxed as tradespeople and can deduct costs incurred through the gambling activity. Winnings from foreign gambling operators are taxable at the same rate as winnings from Norwegian-based operators.
Prizes won from lotteries held for the benefit of a humanitarian or socially beneficial aim (eg, those provided by Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto) are exempt from taxation. There are no specific rules on taxation regarding remote gambling.
By: Alexander Mollan and Brede A Haglundstate-owned monopolies, mobile gambling