In today's online gambling world one of the most important things players need to consider is the return-to-players (RTP) casino games offer. If you like playing online slots in regulated online casinos, the RTP usually starts from around 95% and goes up as high as 98 – 99%. What you need to realize is that this is usually not the case with brick and mortar casinos, which are not operated as effectively as online casinos hence making up for it with lower RTP or even online casinos ran by a state owned monopoly with no competition. I'm going to give you an example of the latter, let's talk about Norsk Tipping (NT) a state owned gambling monopoly in Norway.
Recently one of the Norway's biggest casino website, norge-casino.com, published a detailed report on how Norsk Tipping is cheating their players by using, among other things, slots with extremely low RTP which in some of their brick and mortar slots may be as low as 30%! That's right, you put $1 into a slot machine, push the "spin" button and on average, you get back only $0.3 compared to $0.95-$0.99 you'd normally expect.
How it is made possible
To be able to understand how NT can get away with it you first have to understand how gambling works in Norway. In Norway the gambling market is regulated by Lottery and Gambling Foundation, which is a government agency. They only allow Norsk Tipping and NorskRikstoto to offer gambling related activities and both of them are state owned. NorskRikstoto only deals with horse racing and Norsk Tipping is the only casino allowed to provide casino games such as slots. Now this is where things get interesting, The Lottery and Gambling Foundation is financed by the profits of Norsk Tipping! It is a complete fallacy to think they would introduce any kind of real regulation on Norsk Tipping. As a result, Norsk Tipping can get away with pretty much anything they want, including the notoriously low RTP they have decided to offer to their players.
However it doesn't end there, the state owned casino doing one more things a casino in a properly regulated market would not even dream about doing, they are using children in their commercials. Here, take a look:
This is just wrong in so many levels.
Where it's headed
These are just a few examples what can happen in a poorly regulated gambling market. The report about Norsk Tipping (in Norwegian) goes more into detail how a company in Norway never has to break any rules since they are able to make their own. However Norwegian players are getting tired of bad odds and overall bad business ethics. As a result NT is losing more and more market share to serious foreign competitors. Luckily there are some signs the Norwegian casino market will open up a bit in the future, allowing better casinos to operate from inside the country.