Norsk Tipping, Norwegian state-owned gambling operator has criticized the betting on the country’s local election. They believe that it encourages the manipulation of the polls.
Ever since Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift), the Norwegian gambling operator, warned the public about the press coverage of odds offered by offshore operators and its bad influence, Norsk Tipping decided to back out from participating.
On November 9th, Norwegians were going to the polls to elect the representatives to the country’s municipal and county councils. These councils oversee education, public transport, health, and elderly care and the collection of certain taxes in each jurisdiction.
Norsk Tipping claims that since certain regions have a low population, the chance to win money based on certain candidates winning could lead to tactical voting or corruption.
“It would be possible to [offer odds on the elections], but there are many good reasons not to,” the operator’s director of communications Tonje Sagstuen explained. “The most important thing is that if money is at stake on the outcome of local elections, it can affect both the election and its result in a number of ways.”
“It could affect how you vote yourself and it makes room for manipulation,” Sagstuen said. “In other words, gambling can affect, directly or indirectly, who gets into power in your municipality.”
She said that Norsk Tipping will offer odds other events, like the U.S presidential events for example.
“There is no possibility of affecting the result in the first case, and in the second case [such a possibility] is completely microscopic.”
The regulator criticized the newspapers and warned them not to publish the odds to prevent illegal gambling advertisement.