Monday September 21,2015 : NORWEGIAN GAMING AUTHORITY SEEKS DIRECTIVE TO STAMP OUT ILLEGAL MARKETING
In partnership with Norwegian advertising watchdog
An op-ed published in the Norwegian publication Dagens Naeringsliv by Atle Hamar, Director of Norwegian Gaming Authority, Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet indicates an increased focus on combating illegal advertising and marketing in the Norwegian market by foreign gambling firms.
Norwegian media editors were urged to be on their guard in identifying new and creative ways in which unlicensed operators are “sneaking” past the existing advertising prohibition to reach potential punters.
Using the flighting of Champions League Football, hosted by expert commentator Morten Langli, on television channel Viasat 4 as an example, Hamar spotlights marketing flighted during a break that said “Morten Langli – presented by Unibet Gaming”.
Hamar also identified a footballer profile programme hosted by retired Norwegian footballer Bernt Hulsker on channel VGTV pointing out that “he is a freshly signed "ambassador" for gaming company NordicBet”.
“Are these dual roles random? Hardly”, Hamar opined. “These operators and TV channels don’t care because there’s big money in gambling and big money in advertising revenues”.
Combating illegal TV marketing has become paramount for the Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet, Hamar said, just as advertising in newspapers, magazines and in-stadia was but which is now a thing of the past.
According to Hamar a study conducted by the gambling authority in 2014 revealed 90 percent of all TV gambling advertisements originated from unlicensed foreign gambling operators while only 9 percent originated from Norwegian license holders.
The Norwegian Media Authority in partnership with the Gaming Authority is investigating the possibility of using an Audiovisual Media Services Directive adopted from EU law to prevent illegal marketing and gaming by unlicensed foreign operators and their celebrity ambassadors who have reportedly ignored numerous formal directives from Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet to cease the practice.
Hamar names Norwegian celebrities John Arne Riise, Tone Damli, Thomas Myhre, Vibeke Skofterud, John Carew and Bernt Hulsker in the op-ed along with media channels TV3, Max, Viasat 4, Vox, FEM and Discovery Channel.
Our readers will recall the Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet successfully cutting off illegal marketing via social channels such as Facebook and YouTube earlier this year