Norwegian Charity Bingo Organisers Lose Licenses

A good way of raising some money for charity is to hold a bingo night. You get to play your favourite game, meet up with friends and hopefully win a prize of two. This happens all over the world but it’s currently a difficult time in Norway for those running bingo and lottery games for charitable purposes. Their gambling regulator has taken 211 organisations from its operator registry and 51 of them had bingo and lottery licenses. 

The action was taken by Lottstift because the organisations had failed to disclose their accounts by a set deadline. These included charities, voluntary agencies, special interest groups and sports teams. What does the future have in store for those that have been excluded? They will now serve a six months ‘quarantine’ period. When that expires, they will be able to reapply for a license. 

To be able to obtain a license to run charitable bingo events in Norway a company must have an annual turnover of less than NKr700,000 (£62,356). The current suspension came into force at the start of this month. The news gets worse for those suspended as it means they will be unable to offer bingo games throughout 2020. This is despite the fact that the regulator accepts that such a move could cause significant drops in income for some charitable organisations. 

The move comes two months after the Norwegian Ministry of Finance announced a new policy. It declared that charitable bingo and lottery tournament organisers would be excluded from recently introduced anti-money laundering rules by Lotteritilsynet, the national lottery authority. 

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