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Norway ends charity slots

25 June 2007

NORWAY -- As reported by the Agence-France Presses: Volunteer organisations and charities in Norway such as the Red Cross have for years made oodles of money by operating their own slot machines, but authorities are about to put an end to that.

"In a bid to combat gambling addiction, the Norwegian state has declared a monopoly on all slot machines and has given humanitarian organisations, volunteer groups and sporting clubs until July 1 to remove their machines from bars, supermarkets, airports, gas stations and other locations.

"In 2005, they represented a third of the Norwegian Cancer Society's revenues, and more than half of those of the Red Cross.

"...Slot machines run by charity groups and other private actors have increased their winnings three-fold in the five years from 2001 and 2006, when their gross sales ticked in at some 3.4 billion euros.

"...As of July 1, their one-armed bandits will be replaced by machines operated by Norsk Tipping, the state lottery monopoly, which will be less '

"aggressive' than their predecessors, according to government officials.

"In return, the charities and volunteer groups will share a portion of the revenues generated by the state's machines..."

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