Norway’s government has pledged an additional NOK8m (£698,000/€836,000/$914,000) donation towards preventing gambling harm, after lottery operator Norsk Tipping announced that it had generated more than NOK6bn for good causes, including NOK17m for the fight against gambling harm.
The operator’s total distribution for good causes was NOK6.29bn, which was 1.9% more than in 2020.
Of this total, NOK5.50bn was distributed using the country’s fixed distribution formula (Tippenøkkelen) for funding for general social causes, also up 1.9%. This included NOK3.29bn distributed to sport and NOK926.1m each for culture and charities. In addition, NOK351.8m went towards health funding.
In addition to the Tippenøkkelen funds, Norsk TIpping distributed a further NOK737m towards grassroots initiatives, plus NOK36m in bingo profits towards good causes – as required for all Norwegian bingo operators.
In addition, it distributed NOK17m towards an action plan to combat gambling addiction. On top of this distribution, the Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality has decided to add an extra NOK8m.
“Tens of thousands of Norwegians are destroying their own finances and inflicting great problems on themselves and their families as a result of a difficult relationship with gambling,” Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Anette Trettebergstuen said. “We are now strengthening our efforts so that the total allocation for measures against gambling problems is as much as NOK2m.”
Trettebergstuen added that work to combat gambling harm was particularly important following the results of a study which estimated the total cost of gambling harm in the country to be NOK5.14bn per year.
“These are worrying figures, which I take very seriously,” she said. “Therefore, I am glad that we in Norway have regulated gambling within an exclusive rights model, which offers gambling in responsible forms to limit and prevent gambling problems.
“Then the profits from gambling can also go to sports, culture and volunteering, and not in the pockets of private actors. The NOK25m for measures in the action plan against gambling problems goes, among other things, to voluntary organizations that work with problematic gambling behavior, so that they can run help services, run prevention and spread information.”
Last year, Norway’s government introduced a new Gambling Act that would – among other things – require Norsk Tipping to put at least 0.5% of its profits towards preventing gambling harm. However, this requirement would not come into force until 2023.
“This is too long to wait for those who struggle with gambling problems,” Trettebergstuen continued. “These are individuals who experience being in a crisis, and who have families and relatives who are also affected by this. Fortunately, there are organizations and research environments that do an invaluable job in the fight against gambling addiction, but these need increased funding to be able to continue and intensify this work.
“Therefore, we will increase the level already from 2023, by now putting NOK8m on top of the NOK17m that has been set aside from Norsk Tipping’s profit.”
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