|According to statistics from Swedish Gaming, Norway now spends more money on Lotteries than any other country, overtaking Malta in the Lotto-spending league table.|
On average 1.1 million Norwegians buy a lotto ticket each week, and it is the sum of small bets from a wide consumer base that accounts for the country’s huge betting tab.
'In Norway Lotto appeals to all levels of society, there is nothing embarrassing about playing. There are many countries where this is not true and this kind of gambling is seen negatively,' said information consultant Roar Joedahl of Norsk Tipping.
The Scandinavian countries as a whole are pretty keen on lotteries, with Finland and Denmark also in the top ten, the notable exception being Sweden, in 68th place.
The average Norwegian lotto player is 49 years old, with men and women equally represented. Finnmark has the most enthusiastic bettors.
Joedal says that lotteries have become an important part of the average Norwegian's daily existence. 'People don't just buy a 30-crown coupon they buy a dream of winning a sack of money, the everyday dream that 'this time it will be me',' Joedal said.
Lotto is by far the most popular of Norsk Tipping's offerings. The numbers game had turnover of $222300000 (NOK 1,830 million) in the first half of 2002, 28% of Norsk Tipping's total volume. And Lotto fever is growing - those numbers represent a 15.3% increase on the previous year.