Norsk Rikstoto gets 10-year extension to horse racing monopoly

Norsk Rikstoto gets 10-year extension to horse racing monopoly

Norway’s state-backed horse racing betting operator Norsk Rikstoto has secured a substantial extension to its operations. 

The parimutuel betting firm announced that it had received a 10-year renewal to its licence from the Norwegian government to continue its monopoly over betting on the country’s animal sports sectors.

By maintaining the monopoly, Norway’s policymakers ensure that both the Rikstoto and the Norsk Tipping sportsbook operator maintain exclusive rights to gambling products.

Minister for Culture and Equality, Anette Trettebergstuen, said: “Norsk Rikstoto shows that they take the role of exclusive rights provider seriously, and that is good.

“Many Norwegians struggle with gambling problems, and the most important thing about gambling policy is to prevent all the negative gambling that gambling can bring. 

“The Norwegian Parliament has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of gambling problems and gambling addiction.”

The Rikstoto explained that the reason behind the government’s decision was that certain games ‘require particular public control’ due to the potential for problem gambling, high turnover and possible large wins.

Additionally, the tote operator stated that it would continue to pass profits onto organisations ‘that promote equestrian sports, horse keeping and Norwegian horse breeding’.

Despite the government’s backing of the firm, the existence of a state monopoly on gambling has been criticised by some pan-European stakeholders. 

Notably, Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), argued last year that the Rikstoto and Tipping monopoly was detrimental to Norway’s market.

This has led to Norwegian consumers turning to alternative international operators who provide competing services, which Haijer states has in turn resulted in the Norwegian government ‘losing control’ of its online gaming space.

However, the country’s gambling authorities remain steadfast in their opposition to international firms targeting the country’s consumers – the Ministry of Culture made additions to the existing gambling framework to clampdown on said operators and tier affiliates last year. 

More recent developments have seen Kindred’s Malta-based Trannel Subsidiary faced with ‘daily coercive fines’ by the Lottstift (Norwegian Gambling Authority) for allegedly targeting Norwegian customers.

SBC News Norsk Rikstoto gets 10-year extension to horse racing monopoly

Source: SBC News