Growth in the Norwegian gaming market
No official figures have been released for 2018, but Norsk Tipping estimates that the total regulated gaming market in Norway was worth about NOK 10.5 billion, an increase from NOK 10.2 in 2017.
With an increase in net sales of about NOK 300 million, Norsk Tipping accounts for the majority of sales growth in the regulated market, with a total market share estimated to be 64 per cent. In the case of other companies in the regulated market, we estimate that there has been a small decline in turnover for both Norsk Rikstoto (horse race betting) and Entreprenørbingo (bingo), while the rest of the regulated market, which includes the five recently awarded lottery licences, is experiencing only very little growth. The unregulated market share is estimated to be 18 per cent, which represents a small increase on 2017.
Lotteries are growing and are the most popular
Of all the games available in the Norwegian market, Norsk Tipping’s lotteries are the most popular. In 2018, the segment enjoyed a growth in customer numbers and, after all winnings were paid out, lottery sales increased by more than NOK 200 million compared with 2017. A total of two million Norwegians played one or more of Norsk Tipping’s lotteries last year.
In addition to the aforementioned games, both the company’s sports betting and interactive online games displayed growth in terms of customer numbers and sales in 2018, while terminal games showed a modest decline compared with 2017.
Greater responsibility has its price
In January 2018, Norsk Rikstoto tightened up its regulations governing responsible betting and thus became the first horse race betting organisation in the world to introduce registered betting. The change has probably resulted in the company experiencing a reduction in turnover in 2018. From January 2020, Norsk Rikstoto will be introducing a maximum stake limit for its betting activities.
Fewer betting advertisements on TV, and fewer calls to the Help Line
In 2018 there were about 100,000 fewer betting adverts for unregulated companies on Norwegian TV screens. However, even though advertising pressure is somewhat reduced, unregulated companies were still responsible for almost 90 per cent of betting and gambling adverts shown on TV in 2018. On average, more than 1,300 casino and betting adverts were shown every day, paid for by the unregulated companies.
Even though the number of calls to the Help Line declined in 2018, it still gives cause for concern that an increasing number of calls about online casino gambling offered by the unregulated market. The fact that online casino gambling accounts for the majority of calls to the Help Line, when only between two and three per cent of the population say that they play such games, is a clear indication of the players’ risk profiles. Read more about this in the chapter “Responsible gaming”
New companies in the market
Following the award of five new lottery licences in 2017, it took some time for all the games to enter the market. However, all the new lotteries were launched during 2018. These five lotteries are:
New report supports the monopoly model
At the same time as the Norwegian parliament voted to continue and consolidate the monopoly model in May 2017, politicians also commissioned a third-party assessment of the organisation and function of Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. The aim was to assess whether the companies were working in a way appropriate to achieving the aim of reducing the negative impacts of gambling. In June 2018 Oslo Economics delivered its report “Evaluering av Norsk Tipping og Norsk Rikstotos organisering og praksis” (An assessment of organisation and practice at Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto) to the Norwegian Ministry of Culture.
The publication of this report means that we can now put four years of comprehensive evaluation of the gambling and betting markets behind us. Two external reports have now been published and two governments and one Parliament have made their assessments. All of these have concluded that a continuation and consolidation of the monopoly model is the correct course for the Norwegian betting and gambling market.