Norway’s Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widwey, has stated that the Norwegian National Championships could be held on home soil after a bill was submitted to parliament to permit the return of live poker tournaments, and home games, to the Scandinavian country.
It’s good news for Norway, but not so good for Ireland.
The 2015 Norwegian Poker Championships could well be staying inland, after the Norwegian Ministry of Culture issued a press release stating that it had amended ‘the lottery rules so that a Poker Championships will be held in Norway.’
The statement also went on to say that it would allow up to five associated regional qualifiers, and three forms of tournament poker.
“Until today, Poker Championships were held abroad. In the future, this Championship could be held in Norway,” said the Culture Minister Thorhild Widwey.
It’s important to pay due cognizance to the word ‘could’ in the statement made by Minister Widwey. Norway has reason to get excited, but there is no need to ditch all plans to head to the CityWest hotel in Dublin just yet.
Minister Widwey originally revealed her hand back in the summer, when her proposals suggested issuing a single license to the operator chosen to host the national event, with the main prize proposed to not exceed $335k, and entry fees capped at no more than 10%. The new proposals have the prize pool snagged at $131k.
Home Games Rule
Norwegian gaming regulator, Lotteritilsynet, were given the honor of turning Minister Widwey’s dreams into something more tangible. Part of the framework consists of legislation that will allow home games to go ahead.
This is an area that has been very difficult for the Norwegian government to oversee, and I can’t see how the new regulations change that, but it’s all good progress for a nation that has found it extremely difficult to gamble on home soil.
Private home games will be allowed to operate, as long as they consist of 10 participants, with the maximum contribution per participant set at 1,000 dollars. The bill has been submitted to parliament and Norwegian poker players now play the waiting game.
In August, a group of Norwegian poker players were robbed at gunpoint after traveling to Stromstad in Sweden, to participate in a home game, due to the archaic rules that exist in the land of the Vikings. Now they can be robbed much closer to home.
Norwegian poker has become pretty high profile as of late with Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsrud publicly challenging all members of the Norwegian government to play him heads-up for one million Norwegian Kroner, so he could prove that poker was a game of skill; and Norway’s Felix Stephensen heading to the World Series of Poker November Nine second in chips.