At the request of the Norwegian gaming regulator, Facebook decided to block 36 online gaming pages from its platform in which they promoted their products to local gamblers without a local license.
The regulatory agency Lotteritilsynet reported that Facebook had decided to remove the three dozen pages from the same number of online gambling sites. The networking platform made the decision after being notified by the regulator to notify it that such pages violated the country’s gambling laws.
The blocked operators are the online casino brand Vera & John from the Gamesys Group, the ComeOn brand from Cherry AB, the Kommunepoker and Vennepoker brands from Coolbet and the Rizk brand from Innovation Group (now part of the Betsson Group).
Norwegian-language pages promoted international competitors of Norwegian state operators Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping.
Something that was unacceptable to the Norwegian government, which is also attacking unauthorized marketing.
Norway has issued instructions to its banks to prevent payment processing and has blocked internationally licensed gambling sites to prevent illegal competition against its online monopoly.
The 36 pages were not only violating the country’s gambling laws but also “Facebook’s own guidelines,” argued Lotteritilsynet’s attorney Monica Alisøy Kjelsnes. Already on other occasions since 2014, the Norwegian regulator convinced Facebook to withdraw other pages targeting the Norwegian gaming market. It hasn’t convinced YouTube yet to do something similar with Norwegian-language gambling accounts.
The recent amendment to the Norwegian Broadcasting Law limits the ability of illegal gambling sites in the country to promote their products on national television channels.
According to Kjelsnes, the regulator is confident that foreign websites will surely review their marketing strategies through other channels when such rules take effect on January 1, 2021. However, she indicated that the regulator will be vigilant about what happens.
Norway still maintains its state gaming monopoly contrary to the laws of almost all other European countries. A study being conducted by Norway’s Gambling Problems Association, Spillavhengighet Norge, will shed more light on the benefits that an open-license model could bring to attack the country’s currently growing gambling problem.