Norway to Legalize Poker Tournaments

Solberg government’s declaration law allows poker championship tournaments on Norwegian soil. For years there has been a ban on organized poker games – but Norway’s new bourgeois government will make exceptions for championships, writes Vårt Land. 

Culture Minister Thorhild Widwey hopes they can have a regulatory framework in time, then a Norway championships in poker can be held in 2015.

The proposed regulation includes new rules for type of tournaments, limits for prize money – as well as distribution of good. 

– We do not add up to a deregulation of gambling in Norway, but we only want to open the path for country-based poker tournaments, writes Widwey in an email to Vårt Land. 

Norsk Forening for Spillproblematikk (Norwegian Association for Gambling Problems) warns against the government’s efforts to liberalize gambling ban. 

– Looking at the big picture, it gives easier access to gambling and there is a greater risk of development of addiction. Also poker tournaments can become a training ground and port to such problems. Moreover, also all the advertising that comes with new games a challenge and pressure, says Psychologist Ingjerd Meen Lorvik, who also heads Norsk Forening for Spillproblematikk. 



About Gambling Ban in Norway

Gambling in Norway is illegal for the most part. Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the 2 only companies allowed to offer gambling services to Norwegian citizens. Norsk Tipping offers games like lotteries, sports betting, Keno and several others. 

Norsk Tipping is wholly state-owned company under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Church affairs, with rules about what times of day, and how much money players can bet. As of January 2011 all players have to be over 18 years of age to play all games of Norsk Tipping, except scratch tickets. 

Norsk Rikstoto is also state-owned and is the only company authorised to arrange horse race betting.

It is legal to arrange gambling parties at home, as long as these parties are not organised as a business. Except games offered by Norsk Tipping, all other forms of online gambling are illegal, with the government working towards stopping foreign companies from operating in Norway. 

In June 2010 the Norwegian Government passed a law that forced all banks in Norway to deny the customers the use of credit and debit cards at land and online casinos all over the world.

Norwegian citizens are also required to declare tax winnings made in another country.

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