The gaming market
Growth in the Norwegian gaming market
The Norwegian gaming market grew by approximately NOK 400 million in the period from 2016 to 2017. No official figures have been released, but Norsk Tipping estimates that the total net gaming market in Norway in 2017 was worth about NOK 12.2 billion.
In 2017 Norsk Tipping’s net sales increased by NOK 150 million compared with 2016. The company’s total market share was 64 per cent. Horse race betting via Norsk Rikstoto and the remainder of the regulated market enjoys a total market share of 20 per cent. With the exception of a minor decline in the bingo market, sales in this sector have remained relatively stable. The unregulated market is estimated to have a 16 per cent share, which represents a minor increase on 2016.
Lotteries are the most popular
In total, just under two million Norwegians registered for at least one lottery draw with Norsk Tipping during 2017, which represents a small increase on 2016. Norsk Tipping’s lotteries and scratch games are the most popular games of chance in Norway. In 2017, practically all of the company’s customers played these types of games. In total, lotteries and scratch games make up about 50 per cent of online sales in the Norwegian gaming market.
Reinforcing responsible gaming in the regulated market
Following the introduction of maximum stake limits in October 2016, 2017 was the first whole calendar year during which they applied across all Norsk Tipping’s products. The limit has resulted in reducing stakes made by customers at high risk of problem gaming by about 150 million kroner. We see this effect in connection with products such as sports gaming where, while our customer base remains stable, total stakes have declined since the introduction of maximum stake limits.
In 2017 Norsk Tipping made several hundred calls to raise awareness among customers who were making excessive losses. Customers who have received calls of this type have on average reduced their stakes by more than 40 per cent. They also spend less time gaming.
In January 2018 Norsk Rikstoto launched a registered gaming system. The company has introduced tools that provide customers with the opportunity to set loss limits (per day, week or month), and by January 2019, the company will introduce a universal mandatory loss limit. This reinforces the work to promote responsible gaming in the regulated gaming market.
More TV advertising
In 2017 more than 630,000 adverts for gaming products were shown on Norwegian TV, an increase of 13 per cent on 2016. More than 90 per cent of these are from overseas gaming companies. In spite of the increased levels of advertising, the number of Norwegians gaming with overseas companies has remained relatively stable.
Increased use of the Help Line
Following the ban on gaming machines, there has been a marked decline in the number of calls to the national Help Line. In spite of sales increases, the total number of calls in recent years has remained relatively stable, but from 2016 to 2017 the number of first-time calls increased by more than 20 per cent. The majority of calls are about casino gaming products provided by overseas gaming companies. Read more about this in the chapter “Responsible gaming”.
New lottery licences
Following a comprehensive application process, five lottery licences were granted in 2017. The Norwegian Red Cross and UNICEF have launched new lottery concepts. The remaining licences were granted to:
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the children’s charity SOS-Barnebyer Norge
Right to Play
Regnskogfondet (the Rain Forest Fund), Caritas Norge, and Utviklingsfondet (the Development Fund).
White Paper debate concluded
On 2 May the Norwegian parliament approved the principles set out in the White Paper “Alt å vinne – Ein ansvarleg og aktiv pengespelpolitikk” (Everything to gain – a responsible and proactive gaming policy). Following a comprehensive assessment of responsible gaming as the main objective, the current state monopoly model will be continued. Approval of these principles means that:
Extensive amendments to the current statutory framework governing gaming, in which the Norwegian Lotteries Act (lotteriloven), the Gaming Act (pengespilloven) and the Totalisor Act (totalisatorloven) will be merged into a single piece of legislation.
All responsibility for gaming policy will be brought under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture, including regulatory authority for Norsk Rikstoto.
In order to consolidate protection of the state monopoly from illegal activities, the authorities wish, among other things, to reinforce the prohibition on money transfers, continue to work towards a ban on TV advertising from overseas, and to report on the introduction of DNS notifications.
During consideration of the White Paper, the Norwegian parliament approved some follow-up items, in which, among other things, the government was asked to make an assessment of the services made available to those who have a gambling problem in Norway, and to carry out an evaluation of Norsk Tipping’s and Norsk Rikstoto’s current organisation and practice. The latter is expected to be presented to the Ministry of Culture in June 2018.