Norway outlines DNS blocking against illegal gambling businesses

Norway outlines DNS blocking against illegal gambling businesses

Norway outlines DNS blocking against illegal gambling businesses
Norway is getting closer to enacting a DNS blocking rule that will allow the country to use tougher measures against illegal gambling websites that continue to bombard locals with advertisement and gaming offers. This is part of the country’s plan to maintain its own gambling monopoly and ensure that its consumers do not end up playing at unregulated websites instead. The decision was taken on Friday, October 20, and enacted on the same day, but it was hardly rushed. For one, Norway had to change the Gambling Act which regulates the country’s gambling industry and also liaise with the European Commission about its plans to restrict specific websites, citing evidence that they were indeed encroaching on the country’s gambling laws and putting consumers at a risk. This has been a long process that started back in 2021 with the Norwegian government looking into ways to curb the proliferation of such offshore gambling sites, and choosing to follow a path similar to what Australia does by enacting bans on illegal sites by asking Internet Service Providers to block them directly. Now, the Norwegian government will have a similar approach with blocked website URLs now leading to a landing page which will inform consumers about illegal gambling and why a page had been blocked. Norway has set out to introduce a DNS protection in order to better protect the most vulnerable gamblers and keep them away from harm’s way. The country repeatedly cited the lack of adequate consumer protection tools with offshore casinos and gambling sites, and reiterated that only a licensed operator may operate in Norway. Tackling illegal gambling though is not going to be just the ISPs or the government’s responsibility either. The country’s financial institutions have already been working to actively restrict transactions which they suspect are tied to illegal gambling. Overall, though, the mood is positive, citing DNS blocking as a logical next step towards consumer protection. However, the solution is not a panacea either. Both Australia and the Netherlands have a very gung-ho approach towards illegal gambling websites, and they issue bans as well as financial penalties. However, to be efficient, a DNS blocking list would need to be maintained over the coming years, and it would probably not fully eliminate illegal casinos and gambling sites who would continue to target the country’s most vulnerable. Nevertheless, there is evidence that such a measure does have its upsides. Image credit: Unsplash.com

24 OCT 2023

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