What types of land-based gambling are permitted in your jurisdiction, and is gambling regulated at a national or subnational level?
Gambling is regulated at a national level. As a general rule, the provision, marketing or distribution of any form of gambling activity that has not been authorised by the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority in accordance with Section 6, paragraph 1 of the Lottery Act or Section 2 of the Gaming Scheme Act is prohibited. Authorisations are generally granted only where the prospective authorised party has a humanitarian or socially beneficial purpose and proceeds are allocated to that purpose.
In theory, any organisation may apply for authorisation; however, the authorisation to operate commercial gambling activities is rarely granted. State-owned companies Norsk Tipping (gaming) and Norsk Rikstoto (totalisator betting) hold the exclusive rights to provide gambling services in Norway as result of the Norwegian gambling monopoly.
Norwegian law prohibits land-based casinos, although licensed bingo halls are permitted provided that certain conditions are met. Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto also provide Multix gaming terminals and horse-racing betting halls, respectively.Establishment licensing
Please describe the licensing criteria to operate land-based gambling of each type or classification. Does your jurisdiction limit the number of available licences?
Norwegian-based organisations may apply for authorisation to provide gambling activities. However, commercial authorisation is not generally provided as state-owned Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto hold the exclusive rights to provide commercial gambling services in Norway under the Norwegian gambling monopoly.
Private organisations may apply for authorisation to provide private lotteries, poker and bingo activities under certain conditions.
Authorisation for lotteries may be granted to local, regional or nationwide organisations that have a humanitarian or socially beneficial purpose within the area in which the lottery is held. Such lotteries cannot use more than 15% of their turnover on marketing, nor can the value of the main prize exceed NKr2 million. Lastly, the combined value of all prizes must amount to at least 25% of the lottery’s allowed turnover.
The Gaming and Foundation Authority may also grant three-year licences to operate an annual, land-based, for-profit and national poker championship, with up to five regional qualification tournaments.
Authorisation for poker tournaments is conditional on the value of the main prize not exceeding NKr2 million. The maximum number of participants is 5,000 and they must be over 18 years of age. The licence holder must receive a minimum of 5% of the tournament’s turnover. The licence holder may recuperate costs incurred in arranging the tournament, with a limitation of 10% of the turnover.
The Gaming and Foundation Authority may grant a licence to operate a bingo hall, provided that:
- the annual turnover does not exceed NKr700,000; and
- the authorised organisation receives a minimum of 15% of the profits (of which 30% is from electronic bingo and pre-drawn bingo games).
Bingo authorisations are valid for one year.
Authorisation for post-drawn and pre-drawn public lotteries can be granted provided that:
- the annual turnover does not exceed NKr1 billion; and
- the authorised organisation receives a minimum of 20% of the turnover.
Lastly, lotteries drawn by a commercial organisation may acquire authorisation where:
- the annual turnover does not exceed NKr3 billion; and
- the authorised organisation receives a minimum of 50% of the turnover.
Lottery authorisations are valid for one year.
If a lottery activity is due to be held in a fixed location, the proprietor must have authorisation. Likewise, an operator must have authorisation if the lottery is entrusted to it in return for payment.Director, officer and owner licensing
Must individual directors, officers or owners of licensees also be licensed or reviewed for suitability?
There are no licences for individuals, although they may be subject to requirements under the various authorisation regimes. For example, applicants for authorisations may be required to submit:
- a police certificate of good conduct of the organisation’s chair of the board, the proprietor or other participants;
- financial statements, annual reports and an auditor’s report; and
- articles of association.
Authorisations may be revoked if the licence holder has breached the terms of the authorisation or Norwegian law. Authorisations may also be revoked where a gambling device used in the gambling activity does not perform satisfactorily or where the holder has breached public order or otherwise facilitated the creation of an environment harmful to children and adolescents.Location
May a gambling location be part of a resort, restaurant or other multi-purpose location? What limitations apply?
Are there provisions for passive or institutional ownership that allow for exemption or modification of licensing requirements?
What responsible gambling obligations apply to licensees?
As a main rule, authorisation for gambling activities is usually granted only where the licence holder has a humanitarian or socially beneficial purpose. In assessing whether authorisation should be granted, the Gaming and Foundation Authority will consider the degree of a socially justifiable distribution of the income from the gambling activity (eg, lottery or bingo) and the ability to ensure that minors do not partake in the activity.
The Gaming and Foundation Authority may stipulate additional conditions for the authorisation related to combating gaming addiction.Taxes
What type of tax and what tax rate applies to each form of lawful land-based gambling activity?
Winnings that are considered incidental prizes and exceed NKr10,000 are taxable at a rate of 23% (under Sections 5 to 50(1) of the Taxation Act). For professional gamblers, winnings may be considered income through self-employment. As such, they will be taxed as a tradesperson and can deduct costs incurred through such activity. Winnings from foreign gambling operators are taxable on the same level as winnings from Norwegian-based operators.
Prizes won from lotteries held for the benefit of a humanitarian or socially beneficial aim (eg, those provided by Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto) are exempt from taxation. This exemption may apply to winnings from gambling operators based in other European Economic Area countries which are comparable to the gambling activities or lotteries that are legally available in Norway and subject to public oversight and control in the applicable country.