Are Online Casinos Legal in Norway?
Norway has had strict gambling laws since the early 1900s. There was a short reprieve in the late 1990s and early 2000s when slots became popular but seeing as their growing popularity also grew the number of problem gamblers, the government started restricting them and finally banning all slot machines in July 2007.
The government has also banned all forms of overseas gambling and betting, and now only two state-run institutions remain. This means that all outside gambling operators are banned from practicing in Norway, so there are only two options remaining to the residents of Norway if they want to gamble. The two gambling institutions are:
Norsk Risktoto: For horse racing.
Norsk Tipping: For lotteries, keno, poker, scratch cards and sports betting.
So, while online gambling is not strictly prohibited in Norway, the country is heavily regulated. Playing at overseas online casinos was banned in 2008, but in reality, Norwegians can still access offshore online casinos and use NOK to make deposits and withdrawals. The use of Norwegian debit and credit cards is banned, and players still need to pay taxes to Norway for any winnings made at these overseas casinos.
at Online Casinos in Norway
To enforce the strict gambling regulations, the amount of payment option for online casinos in Norway is extremely limited. Below we break down the various methods and whether they are available at all.
casino payment options
Norwegian banks are no longer able to process transactions relating to gambling. Therefore, players cannot deposit or withdraw funds to their bank account in Norway and have to find an alternative payment method.
Electronic wallets or eWallets are a popular payment method for Norwegian gamblers. Depositing money to eWallets is perfectly legal, as they are used for various other online payments along with online gambling. The eWallet company acts as a middleman between the bank account and the seller’s website, and the seller does not know where the funds were originally deposited from. Some of the most popular eWallets include PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. In most places creating an account is free, and they are very simple to use.
Debit and Credit Card
In 2010 Norway banned the use of debit and credit cards for all casinos, both online and land, all over the world. This means that debit and credit cards obtained from banks in Norway will not work. This decision has been heavily criticised by the European Free Trade Association EFTA, which states that these measures are an unjustified restriction on the freedom of internal gambling market. There has been some talk of loosening the restrictions, but it remains to be seen whether this will happen in the future.
Prepaid cards remain a popular payment method in Norway because they eliminate the use of banks. Prepaid cards such as Paysafecard are available at convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven. These prepaid cards can be purchased both with debit cards as well as with cash, the latter of which ensures anonymity as well. Unfortunately, withdrawals are not available when paying for online games using a pre-paid card, so the winnings have to be withdrawn using another method.
Games are Available in Online Casinos in Norway
Despite the strict rules, there are still multiple offshore online casinos that offer their games for the Norwegian clientele, accepting NOK and even offering a translated version of their websites. These Norway casinos offer classic slots from Software Providers like NetEnt as well as live casino games and table games (i.e. blackjack or roulette). Should you choose to play at one of the overseas online casinos, make sure that you check their safety and security and are aware of the restrictions applicable to you.
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