Published at 11:21 a.m., December 12, 2022. 

Updated December 12, 2022 at 12:58h.

Norway likes to keep its gaming operations in-house, so it’s no surprise that horse racing will still be controlled by a monopoly. A notice posted on the website states that Norsk Rikstoto, which has just won its latest coup in horse betting, will keep control of horse race betting for 10 additional years.

Promo booth at the Norwegian horse track for Norsk Rikstoto. It will retain its 10 year-old monopoly in horse race betting. (Image: TGN)
Norsk Rikstoto was first created in 1982 by Det Norske Travelskap and the Norwegian Jockey Club. Although it didn’t have a monopoly on the activity at first, it later gained complete control.
Norsk Tipping controls all other sports betting in Norway, something that’s been a source of frustration for sports betting operators like Kindred. This unique understanding of the Norwegian sports betting market has led to concerns about bettors turning to overseas options for better offers.
Norsk Rikstoto Holds on
Norsk Tipping was a horse racing betting company that operated until 1993 when Norsk Rikstoto took over. In renewing Norsk Rikstoto’s status, Anette Trettebergstuen, the minister of culture and equality, said that monopolies make for better control over problem gambling.

Contrary to empirical evidence, this is true. Low problem gambling rates are common in countries like Spain, which have betting and gambling markets.

Studies in both countries indicate that the rate is less than 1 percent. The National Competence Centre for Gaming Research in Norway reports that the rate for medium-risk gambling is 3.1% and 1.4% respectively.
It is possible that this number could have been skewed even further. Some reports suggest that offshore gambling accounts account for between 50% and 66% of all betting and gaming activity. As such, the ability to capture complete data on Norway’s gambling industry is virtually impossible.
Maarten Haijer (secretaire general, European Gaming and Betting Association) affirmed this conclusion last year. He said that Norway has “lost control” of its gambling market, as well as NOK2 billion (US$200 million) a year in potential tax revenue.
Norway loses revenue but fails to provide safe gambling opportunities through its monopolistic system. With so many gamblers and bettors using offshore options, they aren’t willing to seek help through established channels. They also run the risk of using platforms that don’t have safeguards in place.
Slips Norsk Rikstoto
Norsk Rikstoto has reported a decrease in overall performance during its third quarter revenue update. In 2018, the annual turnover was over NOK2.71 billion (US$271.271 million), which is a number that hasn’t been seen again.
Next year’s turnover fell to NOK2.56billion (US$256.25m), and then NOK2.7billion (US$270.27m) in the year following. The COVID-19 effect likely caused turnover to plummet to NOK2.38 Billion (US$238.23 Million) in 2021.
Although it has slightly increased in value, the NOK2.48billion is still below US$248.24m. The says it believes it’s on track for a record year once the last quarter concludes.

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