Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, and Norway is no exception. But poker in Norway has always been illegal, including it was forbidden to organize poker games, especially big tournaments. What can I say, if the Norwegian players were even forced to hold the Norwegian Poker Championships in foreign countries, most often they were held in Stockholm and Dublin. And so with 1 january 2015 the Norwegians finally got the opportunity to play poker with friends at home, but under certain conditions:
- Players must belong to a close circle of friends.
- The game cannot be professionally organized – that is, the organizer has no right to charge players a rake for the game.
- The game can only be played in a private house.
- The game cannot be played for more than 10 players.
- The total amount of bets per player cannot exceed 1000 crown (near 120 dollars).
It was also allowed to organize the Norwegian Poker Championship every year.. IN 2015 year, the first Norwegian championship was held on Norwegian soil. He was a huge success – 1974 players took part in the Main Championship Tournament, which is the world record for the closed national championship! Felix Stephensen became the champion, who won 1,4 million dollars in prize money.
This year's Norway Championship will be held at Thon Hotel Oslo Airport from November 24th to 30th.
Besides, free poker tournaments are allowed in Norway (frirolly). However, even here the authorities could not do without bans.: players and organizers of the freeroll must not promote foreign gaming companies. It means, what cannot be used, eg, company name and logo on banners, chips, clothes, tables, etc.
History of gambling
Reliably known, that a thousand years ago the valiant Vikings loved to play dice at their leisure. This is mentioned in the Scandinavian sagas. One of the most famous sagas tells about, like Norway in 1020 year with the help of the game gained control of the island of Hisingen. Norwegian king Olaf Haraldsson agreed with the Swedish king, that the island will be the one, who will win the dice.
The first to cast was the Swedish king, and he threw out two sixes. Having decided, that the gods are on his side, he suggested that Olaf not even roll the dice. But Haraldsson had a different opinion, he rolled the dice and got the same result. The Swedish king throws the second time, and again there are two sixes. But Haraldsson was able to throw more! A six fell on one bone, and the second broke into two parts and the sum of points on them was seven. Thus, the Norwegian king Olaf Haraldsson managed to throw 13 points on two dice and win the island of Hisingen for Norway.
Until the 20th century, not a single casino appeared in Norway. All this time, most forms of gambling were considered illegal.. Only in 1927 year in Norway was adopted “Sweepstakes Act” and for the first time created a legal precedent for the legalization of gambling. IN 1947 the state-owned company Norsk Tipping was established, who originally organized lotteries. IN 1982 Norsk Rikstoto National Foundation is established, who received the exclusive right to accept bets on horse racing. Adopted in 1992 year “Games Law” gave Norsk Tipping monopoly control over all lotteries in Norway, sports betting and other permitted gambling. Norsk Tipping now also provides mobile and internet gaming. All Norsk Tipping games require the player to be registered and have a Playcard.
In January 2014 Years Norsk Tipping Has Finally Created Something Like a Casino, what they call Kong Kasino. Website norsk-tipping.no/kongkasino – this is the first online casino, which operates in Norway with the permission of the Norwegian authorities. It offers a variety of casino games, slot machines, bingo, video poker and scratch cards. Kong Kasino was launched with the aim of stopping the growth in the number of people, who play in foreign online casinos and withdraw money from the country.
Of course, Norsk Tipping has to follow strict rules, established by Norwegian gambling law. And the players immediately noticed the significant differences between this casino and online casinos., owned by foreign companies.
- Kong Kasino has exactly working hours. You can imagine this in any online casino?! But Kong Kasino is open only with 07:00 to 03:00.
- The selection of games at Kong Kasino is much smaller, than traditional online casinos. At that time, foreign online casinos, usually, offer players hundreds of different games, Kong Kasino only has 68 games, currently available. Probably, this set of games will increase somewhat over time, but at the moment it is very poor.
- Slots, offered by Kong Kasino, are made only by Norsk Tipping and are different from those slot machines, to which people are used to. Since Norsk Tipping does not partner with well-known game developers, such as Net Entertainment and Microgaming, then in Kong Kasino you will not find the famous and popular all over the world slot machines.
- Kong Kasino has limited bets. for example, no more than 0,1 crowns per line. It is much less, than possible in foreign online casinos.
- Kong Kasino does not give players a bonus when opening an account. And other bonuses too.
Kong Kasino's only advantage is, that winnings are tax-free. Playing at other online casinos, Norwegian players must pay taxes on all individual income over 10 000 dollars. However, winning at Kong Kasino will never be as big., like in foreign online casinos, where with luck it is possible to win millions of dollars.
Monopolization of slots
Beginning with 1990 years in Norway there was a very liberal legislation regarding slot machines. Private operators could post them in public places, such as grocery stores, bars, hotels, gas stations.
IN 2001 and 2004 years, the gross turnover from slot machines was 9 billion and 26 billion NOK respectively. It was a huge increase in comparison with 1990 year, when the turnover was only 200 million crowns. IN 2004 year slot machines brought 64% from the gross turnover of the entire gaming business in Norway.
IN 2002 year, the authorities began work to limit slots, and in 2003 the Norwegian parliament granted the exclusive right to use slot machines in Norway to the state-owned company Norsk Tipping. This law came into force with 2007 years and with the condition, that the profit received will be directed to charity. Profit from slots is an important source of income for sports teams, humanitarian organizations and other organizations of this kind. The Norwegian authorities identified the main rationale for the creation of this monopoly as a desire to prevent and combat gambling addiction through better enforcement of age limits and better market surveillance..
IN 2008 year Norsk Tipping replaced all old slot machines with MULTIX slots, in which the game is strictly regulated and limited. So, to play the Norwegian version of the slot machine, you need to be no younger 18 years old, have a player account, ID and credit card – MULTIX slots do not accept cash. The player cannot lose more $75 per day or more $400 per month. After an hour of play, the player will be urged to take an hour break. The maximum bet is about $10, and the maximum win – near $300. All data from MULTIX slots is stored in the Norsk Tipping datastore, including:
- Player ID, his age, floor, address and phone number;
- game date;
- how many game tickets the player purchased;
- how much prize money was paid to him;
- how much time has passed since the last game;
- where exactly the game tickets were bought;
- won or lost the player.
Today in Norway there are about 1200 places to play (mostly special kiosks), in which a total of 2750 Multix slots.
Online gambling: what is not prohibited, it is allowed
Online gambling situation looks much worse on paper, than in reality. If you follow the letter of the law, then everyone looks pitiable for the Norwegian players. There are only two licensed sites in Norway, on which gambling is allowed: Norsk Riskoto's website allows betting on horse racing, and the Norsk Tipping website offers lotteries, sports betting, poker, keno and scratch cards. However, many players from Norway play on unlicensed foreign sites every day without any problems.. Hundreds of gaming sites around the world are happy to host Norwegians – with their income. The situation is the same, as in other countries, where there are laws to ban online casinos, but they are not executed.
Yes, technically Norwegians are prohibited from placing bets on any unlicensed site, but it just looks like a threat. The biggest problem, which Norwegian players may face – it is not possible to make a deposit with a credit card thanks to the Payments Act, adopted in 2010 year. The history of the adoption of this law is as follows.
Given the draconian legislation against land-based gambling, not surprising, that with the advent of online casinos, the Norwegians began to master them en masse. Norwegian authorities, naturally, were worried, when they saw, that the money of many players floats out of the country, and decided to somehow prevent this. How do the authorities usually solve problems?? – something is forbidden. Here is the Norwegian government in 2010 year introduced a ban on Norwegian financial institutions from transferring money to the accounts of all foreign gaming companies. This ban is unique in Europe, however it doesn't work in practice. Gambling establishments, who work with Norwegian clients, created technical solutions, which allow them to make deposits just as easily, as before.
The only thing, what could this ban do, it will create trouble for Norwegian tourists, vacationers, eg, in Las Vegas or elsewhere, where is the casino. If a, eg, just stay in Las Vegas in a hotel with a casino, then bank card, issued by a Norwegian bank, stops working even when paying for a hotel room or dinner at a restaurant! This is the government's concern for the people..
It is important to emphasize, that Norwegians are NOT prohibited from playing in online casinos of foreign gaming companies. The authorities were simply trying to create additional difficulties for the players., to keep the money in the country