The Future of Online Gambling in Norway: Insights From an Industry Pro

Online Gambling in Norway

As one of the world’s top countries for living standards and quality of life, there’s a lot to love about Norway and the companies operating within its borders. For decades, cities such as Oslo have ranked high in the world living index, and overall, Norway often only ranks behind Switzerland and other Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark.

In general, there’s a lot that the legislators and lawmakers do well in Norway, and there’s not much debate against that. With the rise of the online gambling sector and all the money it brings with it, legislators in the country have been eager to set up a robust set of criteria to ensure that Norwegians can gamble and spend their money how they wish, while the companies providing the facility are also adequately regulated.

The current arrangement in Norway allows offshore gambling operators to provide services in the country, with the only domestic services permitted to operate being state-owned. These sites allow more generalized versions of gambling, such as lottery and keno. At the same time, specific online casinos permit gambling on roulette, blackjack and poker, and this is reported to cover nearly half of all Norwegian online gambling transactions.

A history of Norway’s gambling laws

There’s a broad range of ways in which countries approach gambling legality and legislation. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, freely allow gambling online, and there are thousands of individual bookmaking shops around the country where you can place physical bets in person.

The laws are enforced in the same way, but the conditions are extremely favorable for gambling companies looking to expand in the United Kingdom. Some have suggested that the pendulum has swung too far and that there needs to be a balance regarding where companies can operate, but maybe with not as much of a carte blanche as they do in the UK.

Some analysts have stated that Norway’s approach to gambling legislation is an example of how not to do it but on the other end of the scale. Following the online gambling boom in the early 21st century, Norway’s laws were old and unsuitable until quite recently. They didn’t cover the nuances of online gambling, leaving many companies scratching their heads about the framework they had to operate under in the country.

In 2021, this all changed, and Norwegian lawmakers passed a bill that provided clarity and a solid set of guidelines for online companies to operate under. This has allowed companies to move into the Norwegian online gambling market as they now have the clarity they had sought, resulting in an upsurge in profits.

“It’s important that the future of online gambling in Norway adheres to the needs of players who wish to play casino games, but that regulators also have a firm grasp of how to regulate the industry properly.” – Henrik Sandvik Næss.

So how does the industry shape up over the next decade?

With the introduction of these laws, which are some of the most modern and lucid online gambling laws anywhere in the world, the future is looking much brighter for casino companies looking to expand into Norway. However, it is not only the companies that will benefit from this legislation. Norwegian casino game players will also benefit from the broader range of selection available to them now that international providers have entered the domestic market.

Now that this framework is in place, and the early signs suggest that there’s a unanimous and fairly slick working agreement across the sector, the future is optimistic for all parties concerned. This positions Norway to become a practical blueprint for how online gambling should be appropriately regulated in the 2020s.

Potential downsides

Any negatives arising from the introduction of online gambling usually stem from the misuse of the games. Now that the online gambling industry is regulated correctly, there’s not much concern from a regulatory perspective. Ensuring that problem gamblers are adequately identified and protected is a sign of an industry that works correctly.

If the legislation doesn’t protect the most vulnerable users in any industry, this indicates that it doesn’t just require revision but might not be fit for purpose. Fortunately, the Norwegian gambling legislation that came into place a couple of years ago includes strong guidelines to help assist these types of players, and it should lead to an industry standard where players who have issues with setting themselves time or deposit limits feel confident enough to come forward and address their issues.

Could the legislation lead to land-based casinos in Norway?

This is unlikely; this legislation refers solely to digital casinos providing services to Norwegian gamblers. Given that prior to the 2021 change in legislation, gambling operators had to navigate legislation compiled in 1902, the markets were much more challenging.

Not only were they unfavorable for companies looking to set up their operations in the Scandinavian country, but they were so old-fashioned that they created problems for everyday Norwegians just looking to place a bet on a sports game or play a game of roulette. As you can imagine, there was no reference to anything to do with online betting or how any regulations should be implemented, as the legislation was over 100 years old!

Although this landscape has changed dramatically, and the whole rhetoric has switched to a more sensible, reasonable and collegial atmosphere for all parties concerned, land-based casinos are probably not cost-effective to get off the ground and will struggle to compete with digital casinos, especially as a new start-up business.

Firstly, they involve a lot of overheads, and if a land-based casino opened in Norway, it would require a gaming license. As of June 2023, no land-based casino has been granted a license to establish themselves in Norway, so it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Many people prefer to use digital casinos as they are more convenient, offer a wide range of bonuses that you don’t get in a physical casino, and save everybody time and money.

It wouldn’t be a viable business idea to suddenly set up a casino in Norway, especially since all the citizens who gamble can now access international markets from the comfort of their homes. Norway is a very cold country most of the year; traveling to a physical casino might not have the same appeal as in the Las Vegas desert!

Changes we could see

The online gambling industry is a multinational juggernaut. Little by little, it appears as though localized and regional nuances between gambling laws are being paved out of the way and replaced with a digital blanket set of rules.

It is starting to catch on in areas of the world that used to be dead against the mere talk of gambling. As the industries become more intertwined, any changes that we see on a global scale will automatically become changes in the Norwegian gambling sector too. Unless there’s a significant change in the legislation of online gambling in Norway, resulting in a swift pivot away from the current landscape, any substantial changes in the international online gambling sector will also result in changes for Norwegian gamblers.

For example, VR gambling is set to usher in a significant change in the casino industry. With Apple announcing their VR headset, which could take the world by storm, and other giant tech companies such as Meta already establishing their foot in virtual reality technology, casinos could follow suit.

For many casino companies, this could be the last frontier when it comes to prying away customers who are traditionalists and only use physical casinos. If they can recreate the atmosphere and feel of a physical casino using a VR headset and provide this experience to gamers who would no longer have to leave their abode, then this would be a game-changer.

As we have already discussed, this technology might not be as necessary in Norway, given that there’s no land-based casino in the country. However, the idea of VR casino gaming could still catch on, especially if money and resources start to pour into it.


Now that gambling has become such a global industry, it’s one of many industries that feels like it can’t stop to catch a breath. In a world where we are more interconnected than ever, and people use the internet for several hours daily, smartphones have become the new consumer battleground. For companies that can appeal to the right market and siphon off a piece of it for themselves, it can be a highly lucrative operation. This is why so many are looking for new angles in casino gaming, whether through VR or alternate payment methods such as cryptocurrency.

The online gambling industry will have a much different shape in a decade. However, predicting what that will look like is anybody’s guess. It has changed immeasurably over the last decade, and now that there’s more money, markets and accessibility, these changes will likely accelerate throughout the course of this decade.

Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.

Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.


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