Population 2019: 5,33 million
GDP 2019: 359 Billion EUR
GDP per capita 2019: 67.040 EUR
Taxation for lotteries Exempted from gambling tax
Charity Lotteries allowed Under strict conditions

LEGISLATION

Norway has a monopoly model that supports the state lottery. In Norway, the Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Norwegian Gaming Authority, NGA) is in charge of supervising and controlling all private and state-operated games of chance, including lotteries. In Norway, two state-operated companies fall under this category and also have a monopoly; The Norsk Rikstoto (horse racing) and Norsk Tipping (the state lottery which also offers lotto, sports betting and various instant casino games, both landbased and online).

Norway has a monopoly model that supports the state lottery. In Norway, the Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Norwegian Gaming Authority, NGA) is in charge of supervising and controlling all private and state-operated games of chance, including lotteries. In Norway, two state-operated companies fall under this category and also have a monopoly; The Norsk Rikstoto (horse racing) and Norsk Tipping (the state lottery which also offers lotto, sports betting and various instant casino games, both landbased and online).

Concerning legislation, there are three laws that, in conjunction with the NGA, regulate games of chance in Norway: the Gaming Scheme Act, the Lottery Act, and the Totalizator Act. Together, these laws have three primary objectives:

  1. To ensure that gaming schemes are arranged satisfactorily under public control;
  2. To prevent negative consequences of gaming (addiction);
  3. To ensure it is possible to allocate the profits from games of chance to approved good causes.

As such, lotteries are an important source of income for humanitarian, cultural, sports, and other socially beneficial organisations. Especially for charity lotteries, which ideally allocate around 40 per cent of their turnover to charities.

In 2015, the lottery market was re-regulated, providing a few organisations with the opportunity to organise charity lotteries within strict limits. This re-regulation originated after a legal dispute primarily based on art. 36 of the EEA Agreement, regulating freedom of services in the European Economic Area. After all, a single-operator licensing system and the non-transparent renewal disproportionately affect the European free movement of services negatively. Also, the restriction on the free movement of services must be proportionate to the objectives of a country’s national gambling policy and must not distinguish between nationalities.

Strict conditions accompanied this re-regulation. The most important being:

  1. All profits of any lotteries had to go to charities and their charitable work outside of Norway;
  2. Only charities can apply for a license, which is valid for nine years;
  3. There is a maximum of five licenses;
  4. The annual turnover of these new lotteries limited at 300 million NOK (±30 million EUR) per licence.

Since then, apart from the Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto, there are four other (combinations of) charities that have obtained a licence.

1. Norsk Postkode Lotteri (SOS Children's villages & WWF)

In October 2017, the Norsk Postkode Lotteri received permission to arrange and market its charity lottery in Norway. After deduction of prize money, 50 per cent allocated to the licence holders: WWF Norway and SOS Barnebyer Norge (SOS Children’s villages). The latter is one of the world's largest humanitarian organisations committed to ensuring that children in developing areas receive proper health care. In contrast, WWF is committed to the worldwide protection of nature and the environment. Unfortunately, due to the maximum annual turnover of 300 million NOK, fundraising for these, and possibly other, organisations are severely hindered. Nevertheless, thanks to the lottery players, these organisations received 1,8 million EUR in financial contributions together in 2019. Since the start in 2018, the Norsk Postkode Lotteri has contributed 2,2 million EUR to these two charities.

2. UNICEF Lottery

In 2017, UNICEF Norway and Lottovate, a subsidiary of the ZEAL group, successfully applied for a charity lottery licence. After deduction of the prize money, 50 per cent goes to UNICEF Norway. With these contributions, UNICEF continues further to provide humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide and provide educational material to Norwegian children too.

3. Pantelottereit (Red Cross)

In 2008, the Olav Thon group and the Norwegian Red Cross launched the Pantelotteriet (Recycling Lottery) based on the collection of recycling bottles. Whenever someone returns a bottle at one of the lottery's 2200 reversed-vending machines around the country, they can purchase a lottery ticket, providing them with a chance to win.

In 2018, the total turnover of the Pantelotteriet added up to 144 million NOK (±12 million EUR) of which 50 million NOK (±4,1 million EUR), or 34,8 per cent, was contributed to the Red Cross. These funds enable primarily local Red Cross branches to organise visits to the elderly, help with homework for young people and support refugees.

4. FotoLotto (Right to Play)

FotoLotto’s sole beneficiary is Right to Play, an organisation that empowers vulnerable children to overcome the effects of war, poverty and disease around the world through play. Right to Play receives half of the lottery’s proceeds. People can participate by uploading pictures of themselves, which represent their unique lottery ticket.

OTHER LOTTERIES

Norsk Tipping

Norsk Tipping is the Norwegian state-owned lottery. They offer several different lottery products, amounting to almost one lottery every day. They also offer other games of chance, such as sports betting and various instant casino games. Under Norwegian legislation, all profits are distributed to charities: even though this remains only a ‘secondary consideration’ to Norsk Tipping (Annual report, 2018). The total revenue of Norsk Tipping was 38 billion NOK (3,2 billion EUR) in 2018. Of this, 5.5 billion NOK (457 million EUR), or 14,5 per cent, was distributed to charitable causes. The rest of the turnover was used to pay out prizes and for operational expenses.