Nov 17

Lotteries Launching In Norway Under New Legislation


Lottovate has become the first lottery operator to enter the Norwegian market since new legislation came into force in 2015, following this week’s launch of its new online-only lottery product.

Lottovate, which is owned by Germany’s ZEAL Group, went live with the new lottery on Monday and the first draw will take place this Friday.

The lottery is played entirely online and is designed to be mobile-first, with the draw streamed in real time on Facebook Live.

The lottery is operated in partnership with UNICEF Norway and 30 percent of every ticket sold will go directly to the charity, 40 percent to the prize pot and 30 percent to Lottovate.

The draw for the new lottery will take place every Friday and the jackpot will be NOK2m (€210,000).

Susan Standiford, ZEAL CTO and general manager of Lottovate, said: “With charities increasingly facing ‘giving fatigue’, the
UNICEF-Lotteriet is an innovative way to generate more funds, at no cost.

“It’s very scalable and a great way for the charity to expand their supporter base. We’re thrilled to be partnering with UNICEF Norway.”

UNICEF Norway managing director Camilla Viken said the lottery will be a way for the charity to generate sustainable income over the long-term.

The lottery market in Norway has previously been extremely restricted and only state-owned Norsk Tipping and some smaller charity lotteries have been able to offer products in the country.

Norway updated its gambling law in 2015 after criticism from the European Free Trade Association that certain restrictions broke EU law.

The updated legislation allowed for five new operators to enter the lottery market, but operators will be subject to an annual turnover cap of NOK300m (€31m), as well as limitations on advertising.

The granting of the five licences was itself something of a lottery as the Norwegian Gaming Board allocated some of the permits by drawing lots, as more than five of the applicants met the set requirements.

As a result, the process to issue the licences, which are valid for nine years, was somewhat delayed because of several complaints and appeals from unsuccessful operators.

Dutch company Novamedia’s Postcode Lottery was one of three lucky ones finally granted a licence at the end of September this year through the draw.

Novamedia was first rejected in the application process by the Norwegian Gaming Board for not fulfilling certain criteria, but the operator successfully appealed the decision.

The Postcode Lottery had tried unsuccessfully to enter the Norwegian market for more than 15 years, and argued on a national and European level that the country’s lottery legislation breaks EU law. 

Eva Struving, international and charities director for Novamedia, said: “We are very happy with this licence. We have fought for it for years, even as far as the European authorities.

“It’s pretty ironic that we finally got a lottery licence through a draw. Fortunately, the draw was in our favour. Now we are looking forward to raising funds for charity in Norway too.”

The Postcode Lottery said it is currently “analysing the requirements of the licence and making a plan for the coming period”.

It will operate the lottery in partnership with SOS Barnebyer and the WWF.

Other operators to be granted a licence are: FotoLotto, in partnership with Right to Play; Donira together with the Rainforest Foundation; Caritas and the Development Fund; and Pantelotteriet together with the Norwegian Red Cross.