Status of problem gaming in Norway
Norsk Tipping monitors several indicators of problem gaming behaviour among the Norwegian public. An overview is provided below.
These are the five main metrics and statistics that indicate the extent of problem gaming in Norway:
- Population-based survey on gaming
- Norsk Tipping’s Playscan index
- Enquiry statistics from the Helpline for gaming addicts
- Enquiry statistics from Spillavhengighet Norge (‘Gaming Addiction Norway’)
- From 2021 onwards: Annual problem gaming assessment by TNS Kantar, commissioned by Norsk Tipping
1. Population-based survey on gaming
The Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority’s population-based survey on gaming is Norway’s official benchmark for the level of problem gaming in Norway. It has been conducted by the University of Bergen since 2013, with updates in 2015 and 2019. The graph below shows the development in the proportions of low risk players, moderate risk players and problem players.
Omfang av penge- og dataspillproblemer i Norge (Spillforsk/University of Bergen)
The 0.3 per cent change in the proportion of problem players from 2013 to 2015 was within the margin of error and is therefore not significant. The increase from 0.9 to 1.4 per cent in 2019 was significant. 1.4 per cent corresponds to around 55,000 people.
The next population-based survey will be conducted in 2022, with publication in 2023.
2. Norsk Tipping’s Playscan index
Playscan is Norsk Tipping’s analysis tool. It registers all logins and transactions by Norsk Tipping’s customers. Playscan measures changes in gaming behaviour and categorises players: green (low risk), yellow (medium risk) and red (high risk).
The Playscan index indicates whether the gaming behaviour across the entire customer base is moving in a positive (healthier) or negative (unhealthier) direction. If the index is higher than zero, it is positive. Below zero, it is negative.
The diagram shows that the Playscan index ended in positive territory with a score of 30,058 in 2021. This means that overall, the customer base has moved in a healthier direction. The corresponding score for 2020 was -13,013.
The Playscan index does not measure the number of problem players, rather it indicates the tendency among Norsk Tipping’s 2.1 million customers.
3. Statistics from the Helpline for gaming addicts
The statistics are published annually by the Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority. The number of enquiries has proved over time to mirror, to some extent, developments in the proportion of gaming addicts in Norway, although it is not possible to firmly establish a correlation.
In 2005, callers named physical slot machines as their main problem game. Physical slot machines disappeared from the market in 2007. Online casino games have been the main problem games since 2011.
In the calls about casino games in 2021, Norsk Tipping was the only provider mentioned in 3 per cent of the calls. Both Norsk Tipping and foreign providers were mentioned in 31 per cent of the calls. In 57 per cent of the calls, only foreign gaming providers were mentioned.
The Helpline – calls regarding gaming 2005-2021
4. Statistics from Spillavhengighet Norge
The gaming addiction special interest organisation Spillavhengighet Norge keeps statistics on the number of first time enquiries it receives each year.
Spillavhengighet Norge noted the impact of the pandemic in the form increased enquiries. In 2020, they saw an almost doubling in the number of enquiries. The level remained high throughout 2021 as well.
In 2021, they received enquiries from 331 women and 485 men. The average age was 34.4 years old.
No. of first time enquiries, Spillavhengighet Norge
5. Norsk Tipping’s problem gaming assessment
From 2021 onwards, Norsk Tipping will conduct an annual problem gaming assessment as a supplement to the population-based survey from the University of Bergen. This will not be equated with or replace the University of Bergen’s official survey, rather it will be the company’s annual checkpoint on the development in the proportion of problem gamblers.
The University of Bergen published the results of its 2019 survey in spring 2020 (see section 1). The next update will come in 2023. In the meantime, both the government and Norsk Tipping have introduced several risk mitigating measures. Norsk Tipping conducts its own annual problem gaming assessment in order to be able to introduce any corrective measures.
Norsk Tipping’s problem gaming assessment is conducted by Kantar TNS and surveys a nationally representative sample of Norwegians aged 16-74. The survey was sent out via an email link with two reminders. Around 4,500 interviews were conducted in November and December 2021. The assessment uses the same index as the population-based survey from the University of Bergen: Canadian Problem Gaming Index (CPGI).
There are methodological differences between TNS Kantar’s survey and the University of Bergen’s survey. Hence, they are not directly comparable. Nevertheless, they are provided side by side in the table below as a basis for reference. Over time, the problem gaming assessment will become a useful tool that helps Norsk Tipping monitor the development of problem gaming in Norway more closely. This year’s assessment can be viewed as a zero point assessment. It will be useful for the company to monitor developments compared with this.
Compared with the University of Bergen’s figures, the Kantar TNS survey has more low risk players and moderate risk players, but a somewhat lower proportion of problem players. Such a development reflects the development in Norsk Tipping’s customer base to some extent, where the proportion of customers with low to moderate risk behaviours has increased slightly, while the proportion with high-risk behaviours has fallen. Nevertheless, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about developments before the 2022 survey has been completed.