Largest political party wants to end gambling monopoly

The Progress Party, Norway’s second largest political party with 38 parliamentary seats and the largest in terms of popular support, has vowed to open the country’s gaming market to private operators if it comes to power in next year’s general election.

Siv Jensen, Party Chairman, said that opening the gaming market in Norway represented the best way to regulate gambling. The Party’s Deputy Leader, Per Sandberg, said: “Our priority is to get private gaming operations including casinos legalized. This is a policy that we have supported for many years.“

Sandberg said his Party does not want to see the state-owned operator Norsk Tipping in control of casinos as is the case in Sweden, where Svenska Spel is the sole operator. „We do not believe that the state should be involved in operating casinos.“

During the past year in Norway, there has been much discussion regarding the morality of gambling. „The morality of casinos and gambling is always being discussed by the red green parties (the ruling coalition of Labour, Socialist Left and Centre parties). The fact is we already have the possibility to gamble online, and the state is a very aggressive operator, with Norsk Tipping launching new games all the time,“ said Sandberg.

„These are modern times. I don’t think Giske (Minister of Culture & Church Affairs) should be discussing the morality of this subject. This is not a moral issue.“