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How Would DNS Blocking in Norway Impact the Gaming Industry



Norway is considering implementing a DNS blocking plan that would seriously undermine gambling options. European Gaming and Betting Association urges Norway to end its online gambling monopoly and embrace the Swedish-style licensing model.

Norway is one of the few remaining European countries with a state gambling monopoly. In Oct. 2023, the Norwegian government presented a DNS blocking plan. The official reason for introducing the new legislation is to protect Norwegian players by combating various gambling problems and blocking foreign casino operators that do not follow Norwegian laws. However, critics argue that the DNS blocking plan is designed to maintain the Norwegian state gambling monopoly. Furthermore, DNS blocking also has negative implications for the players, which will be discussed below.

The European Gaming and Betting Association has urged Norway to reconsider and instead follow the gambling licensing path undertaken by its neighbour Sweden. Find out below how DNS blocking works and impacts the gambling market. The article will also take a closer look at an alternative gambling model and discuss its advantages compared to DNS blocking.

The Norwegian Online casino market

Due to Norway’s strict gaming regulations, only state-owned businesses are legally permitted to offer gambling services in the local market. Lottey Norsk Tipping is in charge of local online casinos and sports betting, whereas Norsk Rikstoto heads the horse racing segment. The Norwegian Gambling Authority is responsible for supervising and regulating all gambling activities in the country.

Online gaming in Norway is very popular. Around 2.5 million Norwegians play some online games throughout the year according to local statistics. This constitutes nearly half of the Norwegian population of approximately 5.4 million people. A demand for quality online casino services further characterizes the local market.

Top Norwegian online casinos therefore, offer the following:

  • secure transaction options,
  • large game selection
  • encrypted data security protection
  • Norwegian customer support
  • smartphone-friendly entertainment

Some of the best Norwegian online casino sites are operators listed on It offers professional reviews and assessments of the various casino sites according to the quality dimensions listed above.

What is DNS blocking and how does it work?

Domain Name System (DNS) blocking is a technology that was initially created to block spam emails from hostile IP addresses. However, it has expanded to an Internet strategy that aims to prevent or make it difficult for users to access specific websites. It can be used by various governments that wish to limit what websites their citizens can reach.

When a user tries to enter a website, the DNS blocking mechanism examines whether the specific site is listed on a specific blocklist. If this is true, the DNS blocking will prevent the user from accessing the website.

How the DNS blocking impacts the gaming sector

Online Gaming

DNS blocking has direct implications for the gaming sector. If a player tries to enter a website in a specific market, he or she will instead be redirected to a landing page explaining why this specific gambling website is blocked. Proponents of the DNS blocking strategy have argued that it reduces the players’ exposure to potentially risky gambling websites. However, DNS blocking also risks becoming a negative control tool that treats adults like children.

The negative impact of DNS blocking

DNS blocking has an overall negative impact on the gaming sector because it severely limits consumers’ casino gaming options. Due to strict local regulations, Norwegian players already have fewer gaming options than most Europeans. In 2021, Norway and Finland were the only remaining state gambling monopolies in Europe, according to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

Norwegian banks are already actively preventing transactions linked to unregulated gaming websites. An implemented DNS blocking model in Norway would likely further strengthen this negative trend of limited gaming supply.

DNS blocking in free societies like Norway can lead to overblocking, meaning that the system also prevents players from entering legitimate gambling sites. This can happen, for instance, when specific sites have shared hosting or similar domain names.

DNS blocking can dramatically reduce the players’ freedom to choose gambling sites of their own preference. Furthermore, DNS blocking is a form of censorship that does not blend well with the values of free democratic societies such as Norway.

EGBA urges Norway to end online gambling monopoly

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged Norway to end its online gambling monopoly. The European authority has also called on the Norwegian government to cancel its planned DNS-blocking legislation due to its negative impact on online gaming.

The current Norwegian gambling restrictions contrast sharply with the general liberalizing trend in the European gambling market. The thriving European online gambling market increased by 8% in 2022 and reached 38,2 billion Euro gross gaming revenue, which corresponds to 35% of the European market’s total gambling revenue.

The licensing model alternative

EGBA experts have concluded that Norway has a demand for alternatives to the prevailing state gambling monopoly. Many Norwegian players look for international gambling options that offer more freedom and diverse possibilities.

EGBA has, therefore urged Norway to embrace the licensing model as an alternative to the current state gambling monopoly. The licensing model would help Norway to close the gap between limited supply and large demand.

The Swedish model could work in Norway.

Norway’s neighbor Sweden could potentially be a source of inspiration for the Norwegian gambling market. Sweden had for many years extensive gambling restrictions. However, Sweden eventually decided to permit competition in its online casino and live betting market.

In January 2019, Sweden passed a new gambling law based on the European licensing model. The Swedish gambling market has an extensive focus on player safety and responsible gambling, with a national exclusion register. Due to the licensing model, the market has also been significantly diversified. There are currently approximately 200 gambling sites with the coveted Swedish gambling license.

While Swedish players can play in international casinos, Swedish casino sites are popular due to their high quality, safety, and tax-free winnings. In addition, local casinos offer customer service in Sweden and casino products that match local preferences.

Swedish casinos are legally only permitted to offer welcome bonuses. However, Swedish players who seek multiple bonuses are free to do so in international gambling sites.

In sum, the Swedish licensing model is a potentially viable path for Norway that combines high safety with significant individual freedom to choose diverse quality gambling products.


Norway considers implementing a DNS blocking plan to strengthen its gambling monopoly. This would seriously undermine the gambling options for Norwegian players who are currently looking for better international alternatives. The licensing model in Sweden, for instance, could potentially provide Norway with the right balance between user safety and gambling product diversity.

About the author: Ian Gibson is a seasoned professional with over three years of experience in the iGaming industry, specializing in popular culture and sports.

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