|New statistics reveal an unprecedented increase in Norwegian gambling habits that could make them proportionately the greatest gamblers In Europe. Lotteritilsynet, the agency that regulates games of chance in the country, has said that money wagered by Norwegian citizens has risen by a whopping 22% in the last year alone. In 2003 NOK 36.7 billion (thatís US$5.2 billion) was staked, mainly on fruit machines and Internet casinos, which amounts to NOK 8,000 per resident.|
According to Norwegian daily, Aftenposten, the authorities are now trying to tighten regulations, and the number of slot machines will next year be reduced from 17,350 to 10,000. They have also set up a program to help compulsive gamblers quit, and a telephone service, which is aimed at helping gamblers and their families.