Gambling

How Online Casinos Are Affected by Coronavirus

How Online Casinos Are Affected by Coronavirus

The Covid-19 virus has caused tremendous chaos worldwide and has had a hugely negative impact on businesses. We spoke to Benjamin Reppersen, the online casino expert here, about the effect it has had on Norway’s gambling industry.

Before we start, you should note that legislation states that gambling is mostly illegal in Norway. We could expect to see a change to this legislation if the Minister of Culture introduces any adaptations or modifications. But this doesn’t stop Norwegians from gambling; people take advantage of the “mostly” loophole.

Through the many loopholes and exemptions in the laws, entering the arena is the online gaming industry. There are only two companies in the country that are allowed to present gambling options to Norwegians. Online gambling is not restricted to casinos only; sports betting, lotteries, and keno are just some of the options available. Be sure to refer to guide sites like casinopånett.eu to ensure you’re complying with Norwegian gambling laws.

Keep reading to find out more about this legislation as well as how the Coronavirus has impacted the industry.

Legislation

The general understanding is that gambling is considered illegal. However, there’s no actual law against online gambling. There are three pieces of legislation used to offer some exceptions to Norway’s tough stance on gambling.

  1. The 1927 Totalisator Act 
  2. The 1992 Gaming Act
  3. The 1995 Lottery Act

In the late 1990s, slots became regulated under the Lottery Act of 1995; these games generated millions every year. The government distributed this income to good and charitable causes in the community, such as the Red Cross.

Sadly, with slot machines came the increased number of problem gamblers, resulting in their official banning in 2007. However, this only led to a further increase in the demand for online gambling.

Online Casinos

Despite it’s past and the harsh laws, this Scandinavian gem now has the third-highest gambling rate in Europe, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. It’s estimated that a staggering 80% of Norwegians gamble in one form or another. With this much demand, online gaming is flourishing in Norway.

Covid-19 Impact

Social distancing, quarantining, and other limitations have prevented many of us from doing the things we like. Gambling has always created a social environment. So what has the impact been on online casinos due to Covid-19?

For players, the online platform has become the only way to enjoy their preferred form of entertainment. Many socially responsible organisations have raised concerns about the circumstances’ effect on people’s mental health. They’ve also expressed concern about gambling-related problems increasing.

As the economy has declined and people’s incomes have taken a hit, many see gambling as a risky way to multiply their funds. The surge in new players and increased activity from existing members can be viewed positively by online gambling sites.

It is worth considering that Covid-19 may increase people’s existing gambling habits, making them a higher risk.

There’s no doubt that Norsk Tipping has suffered and now it offers more casino games and progressive jackpots for its online sites. Foreign sites offer better game selections, making it challenging for the provider to compete. As there are so many Norwegian gamblers online, many foreign sites take significant steps to accommodate them. One such measure is to introduce more games according to Norwegian players’ preferences.

Online Is Not the Only Choice

As mentioned earlier, you do have some options to gamble within Norway; four have been listed below for you.

Poker, which was banned up until 2015, when the legislation was amended to allow for small stakes poker games. You can now, legally, play poker in your home as long as you abide by the applicable restrictions.

Sports offer another allowed form of gambling; placing wagers is similar to most parts of the world. Bets can be placed in person, at the game, with bookmakers, at kiosks, or online.

Horse racing in Norway involves a jockey sitting in a chariot pulled by a small horse.

Thousands of people watch this sport, and many of them wager on it.

Lotteries and Bingo also have a separately operated lottery market, including traditional lotteries and Bingo.

All the gambling options within the country are run by two companies, Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. Both are state-owned, which allows the state to use the profits generated to benefit society and improve Norway’s infrastructure. 

Conclusion

In a time where many industries are suffering financially, it’s encouraging to see one thriving. Considering that the growth of online casinos in the pandemic comes with a risk to players, could we expect to see a change in the legislation soon? If we do, would it be good or bad? For now, it’s all speculation and opinions may vary. One thing is undeniable, though, the online casino industry has grown during this Coronavirus pandemic.

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