A well-judged games portfolio
The larger the proportion of players whose appetite for gaming is met through lotteries, the healthier the gaming market because lotteries are the games that produce the fewest problems. That is why lottery advertising dominates Norsk Tipping’s marketing.
Norsk Tipping practises a policy of ‘better safe than sorry’ in its development and launching of new games and services. All of Norsk Tipping’s products, and any changes to products, are assessed in relation to the risk of developing gambling problems. The various games are categorised based on how closely tied they are to a risk of customers developing gambling problems. This is based on knowledge about the games’ characteristics such as drawing frequency, stakes, gaming experience, marketing, prize sizes, and much more. The company has fixed procedures for risk assessment and complies with established systems for categorising and analysing risk elements. Launches of new games in digital channels, such as eFlax and KongKasino games, must undergo fixed procedure before they are released onto the market. Limits and other responsibility measures are key requirements that must be addressed and verified prior to launch.
Online casino games are the biggest source of gambling problems. The lotteries, such as Lotto, Extra, Eurojackpot, Flax and Nabolaget, are the products that cause the least problems – they are ‘green’ games. Only 1 per cent of the players that contacted the Helpline reported Norsk Tipping’s lotteries as their main gambling problem.
Want strong lotteries
We want people who want to find an outlet for the thrill they get from gaming to choose the gaming categories with the lowest risk. In 2020, just over 2 million customers played lotteries with Norsk Tipping, an increase of 38,000 players.
Many countries have seen falling market shares for lotteries in the past 10 years with a swing to faster and more aggressive gaming products. In Denmark, which introduced a licensed market for online casinos and sports betting in 2011, online casinos and sports betting surpassed lotteries in 2015. In 2019, the lotteries had a market share of 30 per cent of the total Danish gaming market according to the Danish Gambling Authority. In Norway, lotteries’ market share rose from 46 to 48 per cent of the total market from 2019 to 2020. Together with the other national lotteries, lotteries account for more than half of the gaming market in Norway. You can read more about this here.
Net revenue (GGR) per category
Net gaming revenue (NGR) per category
Online casinos are also growing
This notwithstanding, we are also now seeing more customers in Norway choosing the higher risk online casino games where the losses are greater. Online casinos were first offered in Norway by unregulated gaming companies more than 15 years ago.
Norsk Tipping introduced casino games into its portfolio in 2014 in order to provide these gamblers with a regulated offering with a sound responsibility framework. The games are subject to a strict regime of limits and are never marketed. Nevertheless, this gaming segment is growing in Norsk Tipping as well, and the growth is greater than the growth in lotteries. To the extent that this means that we are winning customers from unregulated gaming companies and that they are developing healthier gaming behaviours with Norsk Tipping, then this should be regarded as a success. If our own customers are moving their gaming activities from ‘green’ games to faster casino games, then this is a dilemma. You can read more about channelling dilemmas here.
The importance of lotteries for a healthy gaming market means that Norsk Tipping is working diligently and systematically on product development within the lotteries category, often in cooperation with other state actors facing the same challenge. The goal is to get customers to stick with lotteries.
Competition in sports betting
For a large number of people, their interest in watching sports on TV or live is closely tied to gaming, and Norsk Tipping is facing strong competition from unregulated gaming companies within sports betting. A number of live betting gamblers are very conscious of the quality of the product they are buying. Spreads, user-friendliness, and the total offering are common themes in discussions about the product offerings of different gaming companies.
A competitive offering in relation to sports betting is vital in order to succeed in channelling this highly-engaged customer group, and Norsk Tipping believes it is very important to having an offering that appeals to the many sports fans. The work on channelling this customer group is supported by the authorities’ work on stopping the activities of gaming companies operating illegally in Norway.
The various games’ risk profile determines how and what Norsk Tipping’s markets. The desire to preserve and strength the lotteries means that it is these games that are marketed most widely and most often. The games with the highest risk, like online casinos, online bingo, and slot machines, are not marketed.
Sports betting includes more risk elements than lotteries, which is also reflected in the statistics on gambling problems. Nonetheless, it is important to make the sports games visible to show players that a competitive and regulated offering is available. Oddsen is, however, marketed far less than the lotteries. Many of Norsk Tipping’s sponsorships involves sports, although the selection is not particularly, or at all, linked to product visibility.