Norsk Tipping, one of the two state-owned gambling operators in Norway has issued a warning to its population against betting on the results of the local elections. It says that such bets encourage poll manipulation and could thus be dangerous.
Earlier, the Norwegian gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) also warned the press covering offshore operators who offered bets on elections. Certain newspapers in the country published odds offered by certain unlicensed operators. Lottstift issued a warning that distributing such information was essentially illegal gambling advertisement. Within the country, Norsk Tipping said that it would not provide any such options.
The elections in Norway’s 11 municipalities are going to be held on November 9. The voters will elect representatives to the municipal and county councils, bodies that are responsible for a variety of issues in the country including health, education, public transport, taxes, and more. Some of these municipalities have fewer residents than others. This means that some voters could see an opportunity for making money by betting and voting for the opportune candidate.
“It would be possible to offer odds on the elections, but there are many good reasons not to. The most important thing is that if money is at stake on the outcome of local elections, it can affect both the election and its result in a number of ways,” – commented the director of communications at Norsk Tipping, Tonje Sagstuen. “It could affect how you vote yourself and it allows for manipulation. In other words, gambling can affect, directly or indirectly, who gets into power in your municipality,” – she added.
As reported by Norwegian news site NorskeCasino, the representative of the gambling operator also said that the company would continue offering betting options for other similar events inside and outside of the country. For example, it will be possible for Norwegians to make bets on US presidential elections. Even more surprisingly, betting on the local parliamentary elections is on the table as well. “There is no possibility of affecting the result in the first case, and in the second case such a possibility is completely microscopic,” – explained the company.