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Norway Unveils Plan to Begin DNS Blocking Unlicensed CasinosNorwegian Lottery Authority unveils plan to begin DNS Blocking unlicensed casinos in January 2024, after a 2-year process.
The gambling authority of Norway, Lotteri- og stiftelsestilsynet, has been granted rights to launch a high-concentration DNS Blocking campaign against unlicensed online casino businesses beginning in January 2024. The regulator believes that limiting local access to unregulated gaming sites can protect its residents from predatory operators without criminalising the player’s actions.
What is DNS Blocking?
A DNS (Domain Name System) block is a mechanism that allows you to prevent access to certain web pages on the server. The technology was originally designed to defend against spam and phishing attacks by blocking known suspicious IP addresses.
Cybersecurity company Fortinet explains DNS as:Quote
“A Domain Name System (DNS) turns domain names into IP addresses, allowing browsers to access websites and other internet resources. Every device on the internet has an IP address, which other devices can use to locate the device.”
Today it serves several purposes, such as an anti-piracy safeguard or to prevent access to infected or addictive sites, such as gambling in the workplace or at home.
Norway Takes Action!
Director of the Norwegian Lottery Authority, Henrik Nordal, said the government of Norway is in favour of granting the authority new powers to DNS block unlicensed sites, with an expected implementation date of 2024. These new powers granted to the Norwegian Lottery Authority end a 2-year process since Norway began consultation on DNS blocking unlicensed gambling sites.
Nordal stated that unlicensed gambling represented a danger to Norwegian customers due to the aggressive nature of the games that make it possible to lose a large amount of money quickly. According to Nordal:Quote
“DNS Blocking makes the riskiest gambling games less available, and this protects Norwegians. It also means that many people are not aware of the risks of playing with illegal gambling companies.”
He also added:Quote
“With DNS Blocking, players will be notified and stopped when they are on their way to such a money game. This effective information measure will also have a preventative effect.”
He also highlighted the fact that a 2019 population survey found that 55,000 Norwegians had developed a gambling problem and 122,000 were at risk of developing one. Problem gambling is estimated to cost Norway $440 million per year in societal costs.
Just The Beginning
In addition to DNS Blocking, Nordal said there were other measures implemented to mitigate the unlicensed gambling sector in the country. He commented:Quote
“We are getting more and more tools, and collectively, we see that this has a good effect. We have advocated introducing DNS Blocking as soon as possible because it is a good measure.”
With the new regulations in force as expected in January 2024, online gambling operators failing to cease their unlicensed gaming operations in Norway will be subject to DNS Blocking orders.
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