Norway Taking Backward Steps

Todd | October 3, 2008

Flag of NorwayNorway is unfortunately the next country that appears to be headed towards government mandated prohibition of online poker. Like the United States, Norway has chosen a strange way of going about it by introducing UGIEA style legislation to their Parliament. The Norwegian proposal is similar in that it will attempt to make financial institutions block transaction to or from places of business that supposedly deal in online gaming. This is an unfortunate development being that the past few years have shown an amazing influx of new poker players from Scandinavian countries including Norway.

The Norwegian proposal has been highly debated since its introduction. The local press in Norway is creating a very bad picture for online poker which is not helping the cause for poker players. On the other hand, the European Commission in Brussels has cited heavy criticism of the proposal. It is very possible that if the ban does pass in the Norwegian Parliament, it will simply end up in European Court of Justice.

One reason behind the Norwegian proposal is heavy public outcry about the number of people playing too much online poker and the increase in gambling addiction. The Norwegian Culture Minister has cited an increase in people turning to help through government sponsored gambling addiction programs. Hopefully this will just be another failed attempt at legislating morality and online poker will continue to prevail in Scandinavian countries.