Norsk Tipping, Norway’s government-run gambling monopoly has a lot of market advantages that traditional operators could only imagine. The state operator recently said the quiet part about monopolies quite loudly when it recently announced that it will be cutting its overall advertising budget by 20 percent.
The order to cut out a fifth of Norsk Tipping’s overall budget came from Norway’s gambling regulator, Lottstift, which has regulatory control over the company. Lottstift’s made the decision as part of an effort to reduce the exposure of young people to gambling advertisements. More specifically, the regulator called for the operator to reduce its advertising budget by 45 million NOK ($6.5 million USD).
While reducing youth exposure to gaming advertisements is a laudable goal (and it may be a sincere one at that) it doesn’t really hide the fact that monopolies don’t really need much advertising because they’re literally the only game in town.
Norsk Tipping’s monopoly status has been bolstered in recent years by the Norwegian legal system. Last year the courts ruled that Discovery Europe could no longer run advertising from unlicensed gambling operators. That move effectively bars them from most Norwegian advertising platforms for the foreseeable future.
Atle Hamar, General Director of Policy for Lottstift commented on Norsk Tipping’s unique market position recently in comments reported on by SBC News saying, “It is a completely new reality in the Norwegian gambling market. The illegal actors are gone from the TV screens, and Norsk Tipping is almost alone in the most effective marketing channels.”
“Lottstift expects the monopoly operator to be ready to make major changes in a short time, says director of the Norwegian Lottery Authority,” he added.