The Norwegian parliament has decided to IP-ban foreign gambling sites to protect the national monopoly on gambling.
The Norwegian government announced
they are ready to implement online gambling restrictions by May 7th. They claim that they're trying to protect problem gamblers, but many believe that state-owned Norsk Tipping has a lot to do with the decision.
The changes will effectively ban all foreign gambling operators, will allow Lotteri og Stiftelsestilsynet (Norway's gambling regulator) to monitor banking transactions with foreign operators, restrict media owners promoting gambling websites and allows the regulator to set extended fines for violations of the country's gambling act and financial codes.
Since the state-owned Norks Tipping only offers lotto, sports betting and slots, poker will effectively be banned in the country.
Norway is considered a talented poker nation, with several high-stakes players like Ola "Odd_Oddsen" Amundsgaard
, Johnny "bad_ip" Lodden
, Andreas "Skjervøy" Torbergsen
or Anette Obrestad
Despite the high number of successful players from the country, Norway has a long history of debating whether poker is a game of skill or luck. Back in 2013, "Odd_Oddsen"
challenged any politician for a 10,000 hands heads-up game, in a freeroll format, promising $170,000
for his opponent if they manage to win.
Member of the Norwegian parliament, Erlend Wiborg accepted the challenge. You can read about the results here
The announcement came just a few days after the "Chinese Black Friday".