Norway is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This creates good conditions for the development of a healthy gambling market. Besides, Norway is known for its affection for winter sports. But contrary to common expectations, Norway has stringent gambling laws.
Foreign operators cannot obtain licenses to operate in Norway. On paper, Norwegians can use the gambling services provided by the two state-owned companies Norsk Tipping AS and Norsk Rikstoto. In other words, Norway’s gambling industry is subject to a monopoly held by these two companies.
However, they offer limited betting options and poor odds. That explains why Norwegians prefer to use the services provided by foreign operators. And since the law does not prosecute international operators and bettors, many sports fans from Norway turn to foreign sportsbooks.
Best Sports Betting Sites in Norway
Wagering on sports is a popular pastime in Norway. Data shows that in 2020, Norwegians lost NOK2.1 billion in Norsk Tipping’s sports and online games. Although Norway’s sports betting industry is under monopoly, bettors from the Scandinavian country also use the services of foreign-licensed online sportsbooks.
Sports betting sites aimed at punters from Norway usually support NOK currency and employ various convenient payment methods. Of course, when selecting an international sportsbook, Norwegians must keep in mind that not all of them are trustworthy. If you are on the lookout for a reliable online sportsbook, check the list below.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in Norway
Many punters from Norway turn to foreign sportsbooks mainly because these offer competitive odds, plenty of betting markets, and generous promotions. If you are new to the sports betting world, you should know that all bonuses come with terms and conditions that you must meet in order to cash out your profits. Most sports betting promotions have a wagering requirement, minimum odds requirement, and expiry date.
Match Deposit Bonuses
As a newcomer, you will be able to benefit from a Welcome Bonus that will match your first deposit by a specific percentage up to a given amount. For example, a sportsbook offers a Welcome Bonus of 100% up to $300. If you claim this bonus, your deposit will be doubled to a maximum of $300. Some sportsbooks offer match deposit bonuses to their regular punters, too. But punters have to make a qualifying deposit to claim such a promotion. An opt-in or promo code may also be required.
Another lucrative promotion for punters from Norway comes in the form of free bets. A free bet is a small amount of not redeemable money. Punters can use the free bet to place a wager on a sporting event without risking their funds.
To claim a free bet bonus, you should make a minimum deposit. Some bookies require punters to wager a specific amount of money before being able to claim the free bet bonus. Another promotion that many betting sites offer is the cashback bonus. It allows bettors to get back a percentage of their losses in the form of free bets.
Sports fans from Norway can also benefit from risk-free bets. A risk-free bet is often available on punters’ first wagers. This promotion allows bettors to wager on a given sporting event and get a refund if the bet settles as a loss. Note that the refund is usually credited in the form of a free bet but not cash. Hence, you have to use the free bet to place a wager, and if your bet wins, you will collect a payout. Punters should know that the amount of the free bet is always deducted from the total payout.
An Acca bet combines multiple selections at once. But if one selection loses, the entire bet settles as a loss. That is why bookies often offer the so-called Acca insurance. To benefit from Acca insurance, you must place an accumulator bet, consisting of a specific number of selections as designated by the operator. Note that you must also comply with the lowest odds requirement. If one leg of your Acca bet loses, the bookie will refund your original stake.
Betting Regulation in Norway
When it comes to gambling, Norway has a very strict stance on the matter. Before the passage of the Norwegian Penal Code in 1902, all forms of gambling were illegal in Norway. According to articles 298 and 299 of the Norwegian Penal Code, only holders of a special license issued by the government were allowed to offer games of chance, and unauthorized operators were prosecuted. But due to negative public gambling attitudes, bettors from the Scandinavian country preferred to keep their gambling hobby secret.
In 1927, Norway made a significant step with the introduction of the Totalisator Act, which regulated horse racing betting in Norway. The act granted exclusive rights to Norsk Rikstoto to provide horse racing betting. The Ministry of Agriculture was responsible for supervising Norsk Rikstoto. Norsk Rikstoto was established in 1982 by the Norwegian Trotting Association and the Norwegian Jockey Club. Today, the state-backed horse racing betting operator still exists, providing online and offline services.
In 1992, the Gaming Scheme Act was passed, giving Norsk Tipping AS the right to offer lottery games, sports betting, and instant games. The authority responsible for overseeing Norsk Tipping AS was the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs. Established in 1948, Norsk Tipping was initially owned by the Norwegian State (40%), the Norwegian Sports Federation (40%), and the Norwegian Football Association (20%). Currently, Norsk Tipping is owned by the Norwegian State. Since 2001, the company has been offering online gambling services.
In 1995, the Scandinavian country introduced the Lottery Act, which provided clear definitions of lotteries and other games. The act also allowed socially-oriented organizations to offer games of chance because raised money would go to fund good causes. The Lottery Act of 1995 also regulated the operation of slots. However, it did not prohibit charitable organizations from cooperating with private companies.
Due to increased rates of people affected by gambling problems, Norwegian lawmakers started looking for ways to limit the number of slot machines. As a result, draft legislation was introduced in 2003, but private companies attempted to challenge it. In July 2007, slot machines were officially banned in Norway. Two years later, interactive video terminals were introduced.
In 2010, the Payment Act of Norway was enforced, prohibiting all banks from accepting payments from offshore casinos and sportsbooks.
The Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority (Lotteri og Stiftelsestilsynet) is responsible for overseeing the gambling industry and lotteries in Norway. The authority was founded in 2001 and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture.
What is the Current Situation in Norway?
On paper, Norwegians are allowed to participate in gambling services provided by the two state-backed companies – Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. However, punters who use the services of offshore sportsbooks are not penalized. Operators are also not prosecuted for targeting punters from Norway. This demonstrates that the monopolistic regime in Norway is inefficient, and the country should consider revamping its regulatory framework.
In May 2022, Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality submitted a new Gambling Act for consultation. If approved, it will to come into effect on 1st January 2023, replacing the Lottery Act, the Totalisator Act, and the previous Gambling Act. The new act includes the introduction of fines for foreign operators who target Norwegian punters and casino enthusiasts. Operators who violate the law will have to pay up to 10% of their turnover.
It is crucial to note that individuals below the legal gambling age of 18 are not allowed to wager on sports or play games of chance. However, scratch cards are available to everyone, including adolescents.
Punters who win more than NOK10,000 may be required to pay a 28% tax. If you are a professional gambler, you may be taxed as a tradesman. Monetary prizes won from lotteries and held for good causes are not taxed.
What are the most reliable payment methods available to sports fans from Norway?
In 2010, the Payment Act of Norway came into effect, forcing all banks to stop accepting payments from online casinos and sportsbooks. This means that Norwegians can use their bank cards to add funds to their accounts at foreign sportsbooks but cannot cash out their profits. The good news is that there are many sports betting sites that support plenty of other Norway-friendly payment solutions, including Skrill, Neteller, ecoPayz, Paysafecard, and others.
How long does a withdrawal take from an online sportsbook?
Reputable sportsbooks usually process withdrawals within no more than 3 days from the date of request. Withdrawal timeframes also heavily depend on the selected payment method. The quickest way to cash out your winnings is to use the services of an eWallet. Withdrawals via digital wallets are cleared within 24 to 48 hours.
How can I know that a given online sportsbook is fair?
Several factors speak volumes about the reliability of a given online sportsbook. Before joining a sports betting platform, read reviews from experts, and existing customers. Do not forget to check the sportsbook’s license and what payment methods it supports. Ensure that the sports betting site provides efficient customer support services.
How many sports betting bonuses can I claim at a time?
Regardless of the online sportsbook you join, you can activate only one bonus at a time. Moreover, you must meet the bonus terms and conditions to withdraw your profits. Here it is important to mention that you can open only one account at a given online sportsbook. However, you can join multiple betting platforms at the same time.
What is a wagering requirement?
The wagering requirement is one of the most important conditions Norwegian punters must consider before claiming a bonus. It shows the number of times you have to wager the bonus funds (and possibly the deposit amount) before you are able to cash out your profits. Note that while playing with an active bonus, you also have to comply with a minimum odds requirement.