According to a report on Pokerfuse.com, the Ministry of Culture of Norway has recommended that home poker games, a national poker festival, and small live poker tournaments should be allowed within the country. This recommendation has the potential to create great changes in the way the country views online poker at present.
Late in 2013, faint signs appeared to suggest that the condition of Norway’s poker industry could improve. Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsrud, a professional poker player from Norway, issued a public challenge to any of the country’s lawmakers to play over 10k hand of heads-up poker against him and win a prize of one million Norwegian Kroner. Erlend Wiborg of the Progress Party accepted this challenge, a move that suddenly made the issue of poker very important in the country.
The Ministry of Culture’s recommendation also indicates that the Norwegian Poker Championship, an annual poker event, could return to Norway. If poker laws are amended within the country, its professional as well as recreational players will immediately experience its benefits. Since small poker tournaments and home poker games are difficult to regulate, the country is likely to first focus on holding an annual national poker festival.
Ever since 2008, poker players from Norway have been forced to visit other countries just to take part in the annual Norwegian Poker Championship. The first championship was held at Nottingham in England, after which it was held at several countries such as Latvia and Ireland.
While recommending a change in the gambling laws of Norway, the country Culture Ministry also suggests the following amendments. It suggests a national poker event comprising five regional-level satellites organized by one operator. It also suggests a cap of 10 percent to be placed on the rake and a cap of 2 million Norwegian Kroner to be placed on the first-place prize. These changes, even with restrictions, will be welcomed by Norwegian poker players who had to leave their home country to take part in the championship.
Since it is difficult to regulate home poker games, the Ministry of Culture has recommended that only 10 players can take part in one home game at a time and that the buy-in should be capped at 500 Norwegian Kroner.
The government of Norway is now interested in legalizing online poker in Norway. In fact, online poker legalization was delayed because the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) wanted some clarifications from the Norwegian government.