Norway Equates Skin Betting with Illegal Online Gambling

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On March 3, the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA), the country’s gambling regulator, announced that it was going to take direct actions against gambling operators offering skin betting in Norway and causing a risk of underage gambling. The NGA warned the operators about possible sanctions against anyone who will be caught offering skin betting service in their jurisdiction.

Previously, the UK Gambling Commission has started to block skin betting websites offering their service to the UK citizens. Now its turn for Norway. Since the NGA considers skin betting to be a form of gambling, it should be regulated by a governing body. Currently, only Norsk Tipping is allowed to offer online gambling service in the country.

According to a survey, about 25 percent of Norwegian boys between 14 and 16 are involved in gambling through such games as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. There are several reported cases when Norwegian children spent thousands of money on skins and skin betting.

“Skins can normally not be exchanged for cash, but it is possible to take the skins out of the game and of other markets for buying and selling. There are separate online casinos where you can bet and win skins, and in such cases, skins a virtual currency that can be used for gambling.”

“Stopping illegal betting has always been a priority at the Gaming Board, especially where games offer is aimed at children and young people. We will therefore examine the issues surrounding gambling with skins, and consider sanctions against operators who offer this in Norway.”