Apple Removes 38 Unlicensed Gambling Apps in Norway
Apple, the world’s first trillion dollar company, is doing Norwegian gaming authorities a solid by removing 38 unlicensed gambling apps from their Norway facing App Store. Member of the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) say the move was necessary to help prevent a flood of black market gambling activity in the country, but how much of a difference will it really make?
The Norwegian Government, like many European governments, holds a monopoly on gambling in the country through its operator, Norsk Tipping. While efforts at blocking unlicensed apps from Norwegian gamblers have been framed by the government as an effort to protect Norwegian gamblers, it’s also an effort to protect Norsk Tipping and its iron grip on the market. Despite that, Norwegian Lottery Authority Senior Advisor Frank Hoff Hana told Norwegian news agency Adessa that banning black market gambling apps would, “…contribute positively to reducing the illegal gaming offer aimed at Norwegians.”
Though many countries, including Denmark and Sweden, have been moving away from this model, Norway hasn’t budged from its monopolistic perch. While the Norwegian government has given lip service to the idea of opening up a licensing scheme to outside vendors that talk, so far, has been just talk.
Companies impacted by the blockade include, but are not limited to, The Netherlands, Betsson, NordicBet, Coolbet, Comeon, LeoVegas, Mr Green, Unibet and Norway’s Automation.
Critics of the move suggest that removing gambling apps from the App Store merely sends problem gamblers deeper into the black market in hopes of getting their fix.