Global Glance: Norway Restricts, China Blocks Poker Apps

Global Glance: Norway Restricts, China Blocks Poker Apps
News from Europe dominated, with a little bit of China

The weekly Global Glance looks at the online poker scene around the world. What happens with online poker and gambling beyond America’s borders can and often does impact the state of online poker in the United States.

It’s been a week of heavy news for several countries, especially China and Norway. Citizens are finding their access to online poker and gaming severely restricted due to new regulations. The Danish government wants to place further restrictions on sign-up bonuses for online gambling. But overall, studies show the global market continues growth. Get the details here:

Norway to Block Online Gaming Access

It was a consensus of sorts. The leaders of Norway’s four opposition political parties got together to demand action from the ruling government on gambling. The Labor, Center, Socialist Left, and Christian People’s Parties developed several tenets of a mandate, upon which they demand Parliament to tact as soon as possible. The listed requirements are summarized as:

–Internet service providers must block IP addresses of foreign online gambling operators.

–National lottery should require banks to record and report transactions to and from foreign operators.

–Lottery must set fines for gambling law and banking violations and expand investigations of violations.

–Restrict advertising that promotes unlicensed gambling websites.

The list was sent to the Parliamentary and Cultural Committee in Norway’s legislative assembly. Of the eight detailed demands, six have been approved, and the final two are likely to be handled next week. The proposals will then become form when the entire legislative body adopts them as law.

Ultimately, the Venstre Party, which urged the implementation of a regulatory framework to license foreign gambling operators, but that has been overruled by the four joined parties.

This move is in direct contrast to the events that kicked off 2018, as the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) had requested the Norwegian Data Protection Authority investigate plans for IP blocking and other restrictions. The group claimed it would infringe on private data to garner that information, which would be in violation of European Union standards.

China Bans All Play-Money Poker

China was hit hard this week with a new ban on poker. The Chinese government banned all Texas hold’em products, even free-play apps, and app store must remove all apps and advertising by June 1. In addition, poker is no longer recognized by the government as a competitive sport.

The effects run deep, as many players in China no longer have any way to compete online, and poker tours may not be able to recruit enough players for their events on Hainan Island. Companies that have a significant stake in the Chinese market also saw their stocks tumble last week.

There is an entire article on it here.

Danish Sites Face New Restrictions

Online gaming operators in Denmark may have to adjust to more restrictions soon. A movement by Danish lawmakers, led by Social Democrat MP Jesper Petersen, seeks to reduce bonus offers for players who sign up for new accounts. The cap is currently €1,300 for bonuses, but they want to reduce it to as low as €130 and crack down on television promos.

Thus far, the Social Democrat Party is on board and gaining support from the Danish People’s Party and Red-Green Alliance. The Socialist People’s Party wants to take it further and ban online gaming bonus offers altogether.

Mobile to Continue Online Gaming Growth

A new study by online statistics portal Statista predicts that online gaming will be worth $57.79 billion on a global scale by 2020. While mobile gaming has been growing significantly, it will become even more dominant due to ever-emerging new technology.

In 2015, the market was worth $37.91 billion, and the rate of growth is expected to increase faster due to more offerings that make online play safer for customers, such as anonymous accounts and untraceable financial transactions via cryptocurrency. And more than 60% of online players use mobile to access their accounts and sites.

International Sites Thrive in Sweden

With new online gaming laws delayed in Sweden but still scheduled to be effective by 2019, the latest regulator report shows how much it is needed.

Swedish gaming regulator Lotteriinspektionen made its final 2017 report available last week, which showed domestic gambling generated $2 billion for the year, virtually the same as the previous year. International online gaming sites, on the other hand, grew 14.6% to $6.7 billion. And the overall Swedish online market did grow 11.4% to $12.5 billion, but offshore sites remain in control of 53.3% of the market.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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