Norway passes its own version of the UIGEA

11 December 2008

The Norwegian parliament passed a proposal this week that mimics the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that the U.S. adopted in 2006, Poker Pages reported Thursday. The Norwegian measure bans financial transactions between the nation's residents and online gambling operators.

It is unlikely the ban will go into effect until mid-2009 at the earliest as regulatory drafting is still required, according to Poker Pages.

Also like the situation in the U.S., Norway's Financial Services Association and other financial institutions are questioning how the enforcement of the ban will work.

The amendment was first proposed back in 2007 and at that time it was reported that the reason for the proposal was not to protect Norwegian problem gamblers, but to protect the government-owned Norske Tipping, the country's land-based agent for lottery, sports and insta-games.

But Rolf Sims, a legal adviser to Norway's Ministry of Culture, told Reuters in October of 2007 that the reason was because of the growing public backlash against gambling in Norway.

"The anti gambling lobby has got the wind in its sails," Sims said. "It would be political suicide for any government minister to suggest legalizing gambling."