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Norway to Ban Online Poker

Oslo Government looking into passage of UIGEA-type legislation next spring

Friday 28th September 2007

The Norwegian Culture Minister, Trond Giske, has announced that the Government is ‘working to introduce legislation that would ban online gambling’ along the lines of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) introduced in the United States.

The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs said that, under Norwegian law, the provision of online gambling is already illegal and any new law would simply seek to enforce this by banning Norwegian banks from making transfers to foreign gaming companies.

Many experts believe that the new law is being proposed with a view to enforcing the criminality of online gaming and in the hope of curtailing gambling addiction particularly with regard to online poker.

Giske said that, if the new law passes a vote in the Norwegian Parliament, it could come into force as early as next spring although it would surely face opposition in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court. This body has previously ruled that all games of chance provided in return for money constitute economic activities falling within the scope of European Economic Area (EEA) fundamental freedoms and that, in order to be justified, the Norwegian legislation would need to be based on legitimate reasons of overriding general interest.

Giske is a prominent member of Oslo’s ruling Labour Party headed by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and has held several high profile cabinet positions in the past including Minister Of Education.

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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