When a country’s government takes over total control of several sectors in the economy, it is called government monopoly. When this happens, they are the only ones who can operate in the field in which they are monopolizing. So many countries around the world use this practice. And it is more so when in sectors that the government considers as dangerous to the masses. In this situation, the government takes total control of the selling and distribution of a certain type of services and goods.
This is common practice in countries around the world but is more common in Nordic countries. It is common for the postal system in most countries to be completely run by the government thus there is no competition in this field with the state, as most legal systems forbid it. Some countries also monopolize railroads, telecommunications, public utilities, and a whole lot more. Governments in Nordic countries are characterized by the state monopoly and over the past years, goods considered by the administration to be dangerous to the population are always monopolized. Countries such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, and many other Nordic countries have total control over alcoholic beverages and also the gambling industry.
The gambling industry in Norway
The government of Norway is popular for controlling a big part of its economy, and recently, they are facing a lot of challenges with the decision. The gambling market in the country is strictly controlled by the government. For the most part, the business is considered to be illegal in the country and there are only a few organizations that are licensed to provide their services to Norwegian citizens. Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto are the two companies approved by the Norwegian government to offer their gambling services. The former is completely owned by the state and controlled by the country’s Ministry of Culture and Church affairs. The ministry decides how, when, and where people can spend their finances in the sector. Norsk Rikstoto has also owned and controlled the government and operates other rules that are established to control the country.
The reason why only these two companies run in the country is that they are controlled by the administration. This is why many Norwegian casinos operate abroad, according to this source here. Most online casinos offer individuals the opportunity to gamble on their platforms since it is restricted in the country. Although a few individuals in the country gamble with these organizations, a majority of local Norwegian gamblers prefer working with online platforms.
How does government monopolization affect Norway?
The main reason that the government gives for monopolizing several sectors in businesses is that it is trying to protect the general public from dangers or keep them safer. But according to new studies, the situation is quite unbelievable. According to research from the University of Bergen, the issues affecting the gambling industry in Norway have increased over the years to about 62%, under government control since 2015. It indicates that over 55,000 individuals have been adversely affected by the gambling industry and many more of them are facing more risks.
The Gambling and Foundation Authority of Norway made this study. It is the primary regulator of the sector in the country, More than 9000 individuals took part in the research most of whom were 16 to 74 years old. People are of the opinion that the government has to rethink this approach and set new laws to reduce the challenges facing the industry. Throughout Europe, Norway has a monopoly over the gambling industry and according to the statistics, people still face the gambling problems which the government is said to have been trying to protect them from.
Since the industry is controlled by the government and there is little that gamblers can do, most of them decide to gamble with international operators online because since they offer more competitive options and the laws in the country won’t permit them and these local gamblers are in more danger as they seek out foreign platforms to gamble on.
What can be done?
Online gambling is the sector is one of the most consumer-driven sectors, which implies that the sector requires competition. However in Norway, with government control, there is no room for competition and many gamblers are restricted from playing throughout the day. As such, many gambling sites in Norway are losing customers.
This has pushed most gamblers to international online platforms where there is no restriction, which might not be safe for them. But simply because they can’t freely gamble in the local areas, they have no choice but to use foreign online platforms. It is very difficult to anticipate what the future of the industry holds for Norway, and if the government will relieve itself from some of the powers, it is exercising in the field. Monopolization is not very effective in the country anymore, so people are of the opinion that the government might rethink this strategy.